UL Softball Sweeps Doubleheader From ULM, Wins Sun Belt Title
The 10th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team swept a Sun Belt Conference doubleheader from the ULM Warhawks on Saturday in Monroe, Louisiana, winning the first game, 9-3, before taking the second game, 20-2.
The two wins clinch a regular season Sun Belt title for Louisiana, their 13th in 15 years, and gives them series' wins in all 8 league match-ups in 2015.
The Cajuns scored 29 runs on 33 hits in the two games, while crushing 12 home runs.
Louisiana scored first in the opening game, plating two runs in the top half of the first inning, when Shellie Landry singled with one out, before Lexie Elkins blasted a two-run home run, her 26th of the season, to centerfield, giving them a 2-0 lead.
The Cajuns extended their lead in the top half of the third inning, when Landry smashed a solo homer, her 17th of the year, to straight-away centerfield, making it 3-0.
ULM tied the game in the bottom half of the third inning, when Miyuki Navarete doubled with one out, and then scored on a two-out single off the bat of Alexis Cacioppo, before Vanessa Garcia lifted a two-out, two-run homer to left, knotting the game up, 3-3.
Aleah Craighton gave Louisiana the lead right back in the top half of the fourth inning, with a solo homer, her 8th of the season, to make it 4-3.
Craighton struck again in the top half of the fifth, belting a two-out, two-run home run to straight-away centerfield, her ninth of the season, scoring Kelsey Vincent, who had walked to begin the inning, extending the UL advantage to 6-3.
Louisiana scored three insurance runs in the top half of the sixth inning, courtesy of two more homers, their fifth and sixth of the game, as Landry hit a solo home run, her second of the game, and her 18th of the year, along with a two-run shot by Craighton, her second of the game, and 9th of the season, to make the score 9-3, UL, and complete the scoring.
The Cajuns, who outhit the Warhawks, 9-3, were led at the plate by Landry, who went 4-for-5, with two homers, and a double, an Craighton, who had two homers, while Elkins and Samantha Walsh both added long balls.
Jordan Wallace (15-4) recorded the win for Louisiana, allowing five hits and only one walk, while striking out 13 batters, the 6th time this season she has reached double-digit strikeouts this year.
The 13 K's also gives pushed Wallace's career total to 862, which ties Ashley Brignac for second most, all-time, in UL history.
Melanie Coin (11-12) suffered the loss in the circle for ULM, allowing 9 runs on 13 hits.
In game two, Louisiana picked-up right where they left off, scoring two runs in the top half of the first inning, when Landry singled with one out, and later scored on a two-out, two-run home run off the bat of Walsh, her 11th of the year, and the 90th long ball as a team by UL, giving them a quick 2-0 lead.
The Cajuns added three more runs in the top half of the second inning, all on two outs, when Hayley Hayden tripled home DJ Sanders and Kelli Martinez, and then scored on a run-scoring off the bat of Landry, who delivered her 6th hit in 7 plate appearances, to extend their lead to 5-0.
The long balls continued to come in the top half of the third inning, when Craighton connected on a two-run blast, her third of the day, 10th of the season, and the 8th by the team on the day, to widen the UL lead to 7-0, with all seven runs coming with two outs.
Louisiana hit yet three home runs in top half of the fourth inning, the first one by Elkins, a two-run shot, her 27th of the season, and a grand slam by Craighton, her third of the day, second of the game, and 11th of the season, and a two-run shot by Vincent, her 15th of the season, and the 11th on the day by the team.
The Cajuns wound up scoring 12 runs on nine hits in the frame, and took a commanding 19-0 advantage.
Louisiana wrapped-up the scoring with yet another homer in the top of the fifth inning, a solo shot by Sanders, her second of the season, and the final of 12 on the day by the team, to make it 20-0.
The Cajuns went on to capture the 20-0 mercy-rule win in five innings, outhitting ULM, 20-4.
Sanders, Craighton, and Landry each collected three hits apiece for UL, who crushed six home runs in their second-consecutive game.
Christina Hamilton (9-2) picked-up the win in the circle for Louisiana, allowing only one hit in three innings of work, while Paige Porter (10-5) was hit with the loss for ULM, allowing nine runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings
With the two wins, the Cajuns improved to 36-8, overall, and 19-3 in Sun Belt Conference play, while the Warhawks fell to 28-19, and 10-11, respectively.
The two games wrap-up the series, and their respective season, with a single game on Sunday at noon.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on ESPN 1420 and espn1420.com beginning with the pre-game show at 11:45 am.