Sun Belt Conference Softball Weekend Review (Week 2)
The second weekend of Sun Belt Conference softball is in the books, and two undefeated teams still remain.
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns opened up their Sun Belt Conference schedule with a three-game sweep of the UTA Mavericks, while the Texas St. Bobcats stayed perfect in conference play, after sweeping a series from Appalachian St.
Louisiana was tested by a solid, if unspectacular UTA squad, who features Sam Clakley, who entered the weekend with a sub 1.00 ERA.
The Cajuns came back from a 3-1 deficit in the opening game of the series to capture a 6-5 win, before taking the second game, 6-2, prior to completing the sweep with an 11-2 mercy-rule win in the third game.
Louisiana was able to hit three homers off of Clakley, who had allowed only one long ball the whole season, over the weekend, while outscoring the Mavericks, 23-9.
The Cajuns took care of business at home, but I’m convinced UTA, who dropped to 2-4 in conference play, will have some say-so in who wins the conference, if only as a spoiler.
Texas St., who won both games against Coastal Carolina in their conference-opening series last weekend, swept a three-game set from Appalachian St. this past weekend, winning by scores of 11-0, 9-1, and 4-1, to move to a perfect 5-0 in league play.
The Bobcats, who are now an impressive 20-4, overall, got two wins from Randi Rupp, who did not allow an earned run in 12 innings, and is now 13-2 on the season.
Appalachian, who is much-improved from last season, is only one game under .500, at 11-12, but open at 0-3 in league play.
South Alabama rebounded from a bad opening weekend of conference play, one in which the Jaguars dropped all three games to Georgia St., to win 2-of-3 from Coastal Carolina over the weekend, winning games one (6-0) and three (6-1), while dropping the middle game (2-0).
The Jaguars, who are now 19-8, overall, got two strong outings from Devin Brown, who improved to 9-4 on the year, but are still behind the 8-ball to begin conference play, with a 2-4 mark.
Coastal Carolina, dropped to 1-4, but keep in mind; they opened with Texas St. and South Alabama, two of the stronger teams in the league, and one of their losses was in extra innings.
The Chanticleers are still 21-7, overall, have 9 of their next 12 conference games at home, and have the talent to be a major factor in the league.
Georgia St. has shown that home field advantage does indeed mean a lot.
A weekend after sweeping a three-game set from South Alabama in Atlanta, Ga., the Panthers dropped 2-of-3 from the Troy Trojans in Troy, Alabama.
All of the games were close, with Troy winning the opener, 4-3, Georgia St. winning the second game, 6-5, and the Trojans winning the rubber game, 9-7, in 9 innings.
Georgia is now 17-11, overall, and 4-2 in league play, while Troy moved to 15-15, and 3-3, respectively.
The Panthers, with the likes of Ivie Drake, Megan Litumbe, and Kensey Caldwell, are going to score their share of runs, and should be in the thick of things all year.
Finally, ULM, who dropped 2-of-3 games from UTA a week ago, won 2-of-3 from Georgia Southern this past weekend, winning the opener, 3-0, before dropping the second game, 4-3, and then winning the rubber game, 1-0.
The Warhawks, who are now 17-10, overall, and 3-3 in league play, received 16 shutout innings from Melanie Coyne over the weekend, while Georgia Southern slipped to 13-13-13, overall, and 3-3 in conference play.
After two weekends of conference play, Texas St. leads the way, at 5-0, followed by Louisiana (3-0), Georgia St. (4-2), ULM (3-3), Georgia Southern (3-3), Troy (3-3), UTA (2-4), South Alabama (2-4), Coastal Carolina (1-4), and Appalachian St. (0-3).