UL junior pitcher Christina Hamilton


The 16th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun softball team returns to Sun Belt Conference play on Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Arlington, Texas to take on the UT-Arlington Mavericks, in a doubleheader, representing the first two games of a three-game, weekend, league series.

Louisiana, who swept a non-conference doubleheader from #14 Baylor in Waco, Texas on Tuesday, winning by scores of 5-2, and 7-4, has won 27 out of their last 29 games, and is currently 35-7-1, overall, and 13-1 in Sun Belt Conference play.

That 11-1 mark puts UL atop the conference standings, four games in the loss column in front of South Alabama and WKU, who each have five losses in league play

UT-Arlington, who won two of three games from ULM in a conference series last week, will come into the series at 19-26, overall, and 4-10 in league play.

Offensively, the Cajuns are currently hitting a .300 as a team, which leads the Sun Belt Conference, along with 67 home runs, which also leads the league, 249 RBI’s, and 29 stolen bases.

Louisiana is led by senior second baseman Natalie Fernandez, who leads the conference in hitting (.457) and on-base percentage (.550), along with sophomore catcher Lexie Elkins, who leads the conference in both homers (14) and runs batted in(52), and freshman outfielder Hayley Hayden who is second in both homers (13) and RBI's (46).

Elkins, who is hitting a .378,  and Hayden, who is hitting a .324, are also above the .300 mark, along with sophomore first baseman Kelsey Vincent (.302).

The Mavericks are hitting a .222 as a team, which ranks seventh, along with 29 home runs, 140 RBI’s, and 26 stolen bases.

Offensively, UT-Arlington is paced by junior shortstop Nina Villanueva, who is hitting a .360, along with 8 homes runs, and 36 RBI's, and sophomore outfielder Brittnea Barilli, who is batting a .273 with three home runs and 13 RBI’s.

Pitching-wise, Louisiana brings a an overall team ERA. of 3.05 into the series, which ranks third in the league. Junior right-hander Christina Hamilton is currently 19-1, with a 1.37 ERA., which is good enough for third in the league, while junior right-hander Jordan Wallace is 13-3, with a 4.04 ERA.

The Mavericks bring a combined team ERA. of 3.35 into the series, which ranks fifth. Senior Callie Collins is 12-10 with a 2.71 ERA, while sophomore Shannon Carrico is 7-11 with an 3.60 ERA.

First-pitch for the Saturday doubleheader is scheduled for 1 o’clock, with a 1 pm single game set for Sunday.

You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com beginning with the pre-game show, 15 minutes prior to first-pitch.