The 9th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns finished off their first Saturday of the 2021 college softball schedule in style in Birmingham, Alabama.

Louisiana, in its second game of the day. defeated the UAB Blazers, 1-0, on the first day of play in the UAB Green & Gold Classic.

Earlier in the day, Louisiana downed Jacksonville St., 8-2, in their 2021 season opener.

Saturday marked the long-awaited return of softball for Louisiana, who last played back on March 11 of the shortened 2020 season.

The Cajuns have now won six consecutive games, dating back to last season.

Louisiana scored the only run of the game in the top half of the third inning, when Taylor Roman led off the frame with a single, before later scoring on a two-out single off the bat of Ciara Bryan.

Senior right-hander Summer Ellyson was the story of the game, however.

Ellyson, who recorded her 75th career victory, tossed a three-hit shutout while walking only one and striking out seven hitters for her first win of 2021, as UL went to the 1-0 triumph.

View the game box score.

The Cajuns will finish off play in the event with two games on Sunday, taking on Southeastern Louisiana at 10 a.m., before facing UAB at 3 p.m.

Last season, Louisiana was 18-6, ranked in everyone's top ten, and number one in the RPI poll when the season was shut down in mid-March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

We'll never know how things would have played out, but it's almost certain UL would have hosted a regional for the first time since 2016, and very likely would have hosted a Super Regional for the first time since 2014.

Had this been the case, Louisiana would have headed to the NCAA Softball Tournament for the 22nd-consecutive year, while making an NCAA Regional appearance for the 30th time in the last 31 years.

The only year since 1990 in which UL failed to appear in a regional was 1998.

Louisiana is one of only 9 programs to appear in an NCAA Regional every year since 2000, joining Alabama, Arizona, Florida St., Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Washington.

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