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Softball: Griffin explodes in win

Louisiana cruises to 22-0 blowout win in tourney opener.

Bruce Brown

Third baseman Deserea Griffin drove in six runs, senior All-American outfielder Danyele Gomez scored five times and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns got the 2006 softball season off to an eye-catching start on Friday.
The 18th-ranked Cajuns rang up Grambling State for 21 hits in a 22-0 victory to cap an abbreviated slate of action in the opening day of the 20th Louisiana Classics at newly-christened Alfred and Helen Lamson Ragin’ Cajun Softball Park.

It was the most runs ever scored in the Stefni and Michael Lotief era at UL, as well as the largest margin of victory under the pair, besting the previous high of 20-0 over UL Monroe in 2004.

Louisiana recorded its fifth straight season-opening victory and set the school record for runs scored in an opener.
It also capped a dreary day for the Tigers, who lost 12-1 earlier on Friday to Mississippi.

Rains trimmed the day to just two contests and also altered today’s slate, but it didn’t change the outcome for the Cajuns.

Louisiana jumped on GSU for 10 runs in the first two innings and added eight more in the final two frames, collecting seven doubles and a homer by Griffin while peppering a trio of Tigers pitchers.

Griffin is one of the new faces in the Cajun lineup for 2006 after getting 27 at-bats last year. She went 3-for-5 on Friday and lofted a three-run home run in the fourth inning.

Gomez, who patrolled right field for UL in 2005, opened the season in left and went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two base on balls.

First baseman Lacey Bertucci and second baseman Brittany Bryant scored three runs apiece, each had two hits and each collected a pair of RBIs.

The contest also marked the return of 2005 redshirt Holly Tankersley, who subbed in right field and delivered an RBI single. She hit a school-record 21 home runs in 2004.

Benefitting from that offensive performance was starting pitcher Krystal Lewallen, the Division II Player of the Year in 2005 at Northern Kentucky who transferred to UL last summer. She worked three uneventful innings and struck out six, allowing just a third-inning double from Katoya Fields.

Senior Ashley Kirchberg pitched the final two innings, chalking up a pair of strikeouts.

Earlier on Friday, Ole Miss followed a 3-for-3, 3-run, 5-RBI day by second baseman Lisa Conchos to an easy win over Grambling. Also for the Rebels, Erin Faircloth had three RBI in the 5-inning decision.

The winning pitcher was Cathie Hacker, who worked four innings and allowed one run.

First-year program Memphis was idled by rain in Friday’s slate, but will join the Classics action today.


Today’s revised schedule

9 a.m. – Grambling State vs. Memphis

11:30 a.m. – No. 18 Louisiana vs. Ole Miss, KPEL-AM 1420

2:30 p.m. – Grambling State vs. Ole Miss

5 p.m. – No. 18 Louisiana vs. Memphis

Sunday’s schedule

10 a.m. – Ole Miss vs. Memphis

12:30 p.m. – Memphis vs. Grambling State

3 p.m. – No. 18 Louisiana vs. Ole Miss, KPEL-AM 1420

5:30 p.m. – No. 18 Louisiana vs. Grambling St., KPEL-AM 1420

Originally published February 11, 2006