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Softball: Landry and Wallace Lead Cajuns to Title – All Tournament Team Announced

 LAFAYETTE – Shellie Landry homered twice and Jordan Wallace held Idaho State to one hit while striking out nine as the No. 7 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team continued its undefeated start with a 6-0 victory Sunday in the Mardi Gras Classic finale at Lamson Park.
Landry opened the scoring with her first home run of the day in the top of the first inning. Wallace held ISU hitless through four complete innings on the way to her third shutout of the season.
Wallace’s efforts landed her tournament MVP honors. The senior hurler completed the Mardi Gras Classic allowing no runs, surrendering only one hit and striking out 30 over 16 innings of work.
"That was two good teams getting after each other and our kids never blinked," head coach Michael Lotief said. "They (Idaho State) have a core group of seniors, won the Big Sky Conference and are picked to win it again.
"Their three pitchers do a good job of mixing," Lotief added. "I thought our kids made good adjustments throughout the weekend."
Louisiana (9-0) completed a 5-0 weekend in the Mardi Gras Classic with the victory. The Ragin’ Cajuns return to action Friday-Sunday, Feb. 20-22 hosting the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational featuring games with Hofstra, Iowa, Missouri State and McNeese State.
Landry’s solo home run in the opening frame gave Louisiana a 1-0 lead and marked the sixth time in nine games the squad scored in its first at bat.
Wallace retired the Bengals (3-7) in order in the bottom of the first inning, beginning a string of four straight hitless innings pitched. A Maddy Hickman double with one out in the fifth inning was the lone hit of the game for ISU and only one allowed by Wallace in the tournament.
Haley Hayden homered, followed by Landry’s second home run of the day, in the third inning and the Cajuns edge grew to 3-0 forcing out ISU starting pitcher Bailey Foster.

Ashlyn Ames kept the Cajuns in check until the fifth inning until the Cajuns loaded the bases with a DJ Sanders single and back-to-back two-out walks by Landry and Lexie Elkins. An infield single from Samantha Walsh, off the leg of Ames, plated Hayden to extend the lead to 4-0. Sophie Slagle got out of the jam, then retired Louisiana in order in the sixth inning.
An infield single by Kelli Martinez and Hayden walk started off the seventh inning, setting the stage for runs that scored off a throwing error on a fly ball to left field and Walsh’s second RBI single of the game.
After Hickman’s double, Wallace (3-0, 0.00 ERA, 46 K) retired eight of the final 11 batters faced to close out her third win of the season.
"We didn’t play perfect – and we are not – but we are learning and growing with a bunch of young kids," Lotief remarked. "The schedule gets progressively tougher, and we know it, but for now our kids our locked in."
DIAMOND NOTES: The Cajuns hit. 376 during the Mardi Gras Classic…Haley Hayden and Shellie Landry‘s home runs upped the Cajuns total for the tournament to 11…Louisiana now has hit 20 home runs over the season’s first nine games…Hayden and Landry top the squad with five home runs apiece…Aleah Craighton finished as the Cajuns top hitter for average in the tournament, going 10-for-20 (.500) with a double, triple two home runs and seven RBI…Shellie Landry‘s two home runs gave her three for the Mardi Gras Classic, sharing top honors with Lexie Elkins who homered three times on Friday…Samantha Walsh posted three hits and registered her first multiple-hit game of the season while extending her hitting streak to five games…Walsh and Kelli Martinez head into next week’s action with team-high, five-game hitting streaks..Louisiana moved within four wins of 700 all-time at Lamson Park (696-102-1)…Cajuns pitching held opponents to 13 hits, walked just eight batters and struck out 52 over 33 innings of play in the Mardi Gras Classic…Prior to a one-out double allowed in the fifth inning, Jordan Wallace had pitched 13 1/3 innings without allowing a hit in the Mardi Gras Classic…The Ragin’ Cajuns batting lineup remained unchanged the entire weekend and has remained the same since the Feb. 7 Eastern Illinois game when Meagan Thomas took over as designated player…Louisiana’s nine hits marked the eighth time in nine games the squad has reached at least eight hits (season low for hits was seven Saturday night vs. Idaho State).

2015 MARDI GRAS CLASSIC presented by Hilton Lafayette ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM



 Aleah Craighton (Louisiana)


Lexie Elkins (Louisiana)


Haley Hayden (Louisiana)


Shellie Landry (Louisiana)


Kelli Martinez (Louisiana)


Jordan Wallace (Louisiana)


Kacie Burnett (Idaho State)


Vicky Galasso (Idaho State)


Sophie Slagle (Idaho State)


Natalia Covarrubias (Mississippi Valley State)



TOURNAMENT MVP: Jordan Wallace (Louisiana)


                                 Tournament pitching line: 2-0, 1 save, 16.0 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 4 walks, 30 strikeouts 




Matt Hebert
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Sports Information Assistant