OKLAHOMA CITY – Holly Tankersley’s one-out solo home run in the top of the eighth inning put Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns on top in the first game of the 2008 Women’s College World Series, as Louisiana-Lafayette defeated top-seeded Florida, 3-2, in eight innings.
Florida took the lead in the bottom of the second inning as designated player Tiffany DeFelice led off with a single and scored from first base on a double down the left field line by third baseman Corrie Brooks.
The Gators added a second run in the fourth inning as catcher Kristina Hilberth led off the inning with a single before being erased on a fielders choice by Brooks. Brooks advanced on a groundout by centerfielder Kim Walszonia and scored on a double down the left field line by second baseman Aja Paculba.
The Ragin’ Cajuns had one hit each in the third and fourth innings but didn’t get on the board until the fifth. The rally started with a one-out single from Karli Hubbard, who moved to second on a two-out single by Vallie Gaspard. Both runners came around to score on a double by Vanessa Soto that landed just at the base of the temporary fence in right center.
That sent the game into extra innings, where Holly Tankersley connected on a one-out solo home run to left center to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 3-2 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth inning.
Florida’s Tiffany DeFelice led off the frame with a 23-pitch at-bat resulting in a fly-out to centerfield. The remaining two Gators were also unable to get a hit off of Louisiana star pitcher Ashley Brignac, who improved to 31-6 with the victory.
Brignac struck out 15 batters, throwing all eight innings and 187 pitches. For Florida, Stacey Nelson took the loss, falling to 45-4 on the season.
Louisiana-Lafayette advances to face the winner of the Texas A&M-Virginia Tech game at 6 pm CDT on Friday. Florida will face the loser of that same TAMU-VT game on Saturday morning at 11 am CDT.