Moreno hit lifts Cowgirls past Demons

Published 10:27 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

Special to the American Press

HAMMOND — Freshman Crislyne Moreno came up with the biggest clutch hit of her career here Wednesday with a walk-off single to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift No. 1 McNeese State over No. 4 Northwestern State 6-5 in the Cowgirls’ opening game of the Southland Conference softball tournament.

Moreno’s heroics came on the heels of three consecutive bunt singles off Demons reliever Bronte Rhoden (6-5).

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The defending champion Cowgirls (36-19) advanced to play No. 2 seed Southeastern Louisiana (39-14) at 1:30 p.m. today. The Lions advanced by beating Houston Baptist 8-5. The Cowgirls, who have won five consecutive games, took two of the three regular-season meetings with the Lions in Lake Charles.

McNeese, which committed three errors, overcame four one-run deficits.

Kendall Talley, Jil Poullard and Moreno had two hits apiece as the Cowgirls knocked out 10 hits. Whitney Tate (12-9) picked up the win in relief of starter Ashley Vallejo who lasted 62/3 innings. She was touched for three runs — two earned — on nine hits. Tate gave up two runs on four hits in 11/3 innings.

Laney Roos and Kat Marshall each had a game-high three hits and an RBI for the Demons (29-21). Taylor Williams had two hits. Makenzie Chaffin had a pair of hits, including a home run to straightaway center field for her first home run of the season that gave the Demons a 4-3 seventh-inning lead. The Demons had 13 hits, second-most this season.

Sage Hoover pitched seven innings of no-decision ball.