TROY, Ala.-Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns collected three home runs en route to eight runs as they downed Florida International 8-2 in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

The Ragin' Cajuns collected 10 hits in the game including four extra base hits. The Cajuns belted three home runs in the game. Gabriele Bridges, Vanessa Soto and Melissa Verde each had home runs in the game. Verde added a double in the game and led the team with five RBI.

In the circle for the Cajuns, Ashley Brignac collected her second win of the tournament. The SBC Pitcher of the Year tossed a complete game for her 26th victory of the season. Brignac scattered three hits in 7.0 innings of work allowing just a pair of runs with only one earned run. She fanned 10 batters in the game, marking the 15th time this season she has recorded double-digit strikeouts.

The Cajuns were the first to scratch the scoreboard. In the first inning with two outs, Soto drove a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall for the Cajuns first run of the game. For Soto, the homer was the sixth of the season.

Florida International knotted the score in the top of the third inning at 1-1. With two outs, a fielding error by the Cajuns allowed the first base runner of the game for the Golden Panthers. A two-out double to left centerfield plated the runner and tied the game.

The Cajuns plated a pair of runners in the bottom of the fourth inning once again courtesy of a second UL home run. With two outs, Holly Tankersley (Kirbyville, Texas) singled through the right side of the infield. Verde followed the single with a home run to left field. The home run was Verde's fourth of the season.

Leading 3-1, the Cajuns added four runs on four hits in the fifth inning. Katie Smith (Ruston, La.) led off the inning with a single to the shortstop. Smith stole second base and advanced to third on a Karli Hubbard (Lafayette, La.) single to third base. Hubbard stole second base to give the Cajuns a pair of runners in scoring position. After an out, Tankersley was intentionally walked to load the bases. Verde followed with a base-clearing double to right centerfield. Courtney Trahan (Maurice, La.) entered the game to pinch run for Verde. Trahan came around to score on a Lana Bowers (Crosby, Texas) single up the middle for the final run of the inning pushing the Cajuns lead to 7-1.

The Cajuns added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bridges extended her hot streak with a solo home run to lead off the inning. The home run was the 10th on the season for the freshman.

FIU added a run in the top of the seventh inning. The Golden Panthers' shortstop Monique White hit her 17th home run of the inning to lead off the seventh. Florida Atlantic wouldn't score again leaving the game 8-2.

The Lady Cajuns will advance to the next round of the tournament. UL will face the winner of the Western Kentucky/Florida International game. First pitch for the Cajuns game is slated for 5:30 p.m. at the Troy Softball Complex.

Chris Whitehead