UL Softball Sweeps Doubleheader From UTA
The 19th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball opened up conference play in impressive fashion on Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader from the UTA Mavericks at Lamson Park.
Louisiana won the first game, 6-5, in walk-off home run fashion, before taking the second game, 6-2.
The two win gives the Cajuns 10 wins in 11 games against UTA since the Mavericks joined the Sun Belt Conference back in 2014.
The two triumphs also pushed UL's Sun Belt Conference win streak to 8 games, dating back to last season.
In the opener, UTA got on the scoreboard first, scoring two runs in the top half of the first inning, when Reagan Wright drove in two runs with a two-out double, to give them a quick 2-0 lead.
Louisiana added a run of their own in the bottom half of the first inning, when Aleah Craighton singled home Kara Gremillion, to trim the deficit to 2-1.
The Mavericks extended their lead in the top half of the third inning, scoring an unearned run, their third of the game, to make the score 3-1.
The Cajuns came right back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the third inning, when Hayley Hayden smacked a solo home run, her 4th of the season, to get UL within a run, 3-2.
Louisiana took the lead in the bottom half of the 4th inning, when Chelsea Lotief, running for Lexie Comeaux, who doubled to leadoff the frame, scored on a wild pitch, to make the score 3-3, before Hayden came through with a clutch two-out triple, to give them a 5-3 advantage.
UTA drew a run closer in the top half of the 6th inning, scoring a run on two hits, to make it 5-4.
The Mavericks tied the game in the top half of the 7th inning, when Aileen Garcia opened the frame with a leadoff pinch-hit homer, to make it 5-5.
The Cajuns won it in the bottom half of the 7th inning, when Craighton crushed a walk-off homer to straight-away centerfield, to give them a hard-fought 6-5 triumph.
Louisiana, who evened UTA in the hit department, 8-8, was led at the play by Hayden, who went 2-for-3, to along with a homer, a triple, and three runs batted in, and Craighton, who went 2-for-3, including a homer and 2 RBI's
Alex Stewart (8-3) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, allowing only two earned runs over her 7 innings pitched.
Sam Clakley (11-6) suffered the loss for the Mavericks, allowing 8 hits and 6 earned runs in 6 innings of work.
In the second game, it was Louisiana that got on the scoreboard first, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the third inning, courtesy of a 2-out three-run homer off the bat of Daniella Chavez, her fourth of the season, to grab a 3-0 lead.
UTA scored their first and only run in the top half of the 5th inning, when Sandra Mendoza drove home a run with a two-out double, to trim the UL lead to 3-1.
UL extended their advantage in the bottom half of the 5th inning, scoring 3 runs on 3 hits, including an RBI single off the bat of pinch-hitter Abby Sterling, to widen their lead to 6-1.
UTA scored a run without the benefit of a hit in the top half of the 7th inning, but it was too little, too late, as the Cajuns went on to the 4-run triumph, and the doubleheader sweep.
Louisiana, who outhit UTA, 8-3, was paced by Chavez, who went 2-for-3 with a 3-run homer, and Gremillion, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Alyssa Denham (7-1) picked up the win for the Cajuns, allowing two runs on three hits, while striking out a career-high 8 batters.
Mariah Denson (1-6) was hit with the loss for the Mavericks, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits over 2.2 innings.
With the two wins, Louisiana improved to 19-5, overall, and 2-0 in league play, while UTA dropped to 15-12, and 2-3, respectively.
The two teams will conclude the series with a single game on Sunday, scheduled for 1 o'clock.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on ESPN 1420 and espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 12:45 pm.