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Softball: Perfection: Cuevas tosses perfect game as Cajuns roll


It’s been an interesting season for Brittany Cuevas, reflected by her past four starts for the UL softball team.

 

  • A 1-0 loss in nine innings against the U.S. Olympic Team. It took former NCAA players of the year Monica Abbott (Tennessee) and Cat Osterman (Texas) to outlast the Cajuns’ star sophomore, who only allowed four hits.

     

  • A 2-0 loss against No. 7 Arizona, scattering five hits and giving up a single run in the second and fifth innings.

     

  • A surprising no-decision against Western Kentucky when Cuevas gave up two home runs and was limited to three innings in Sun Belt Conference play.

     

  • Tuesday’s perfect game for UL to open a doubleheader against overmatched Grambling at Lamson Park. The line in the 8-0 run-rule victory was awesome: five innings, no hits, no walks, only four balls put in play, 11 strikeouts.

    And that led to the obvious question: Which of these things is not like the other?

    "I don’t know what happened against Western Kentucky," Cuevas said after improving to 4-2 with 66 strikeouts in 44 innings. "I really don’t remember much, to be honest.

    "But no excuses. It’s different (when facing a lesser opponent), but you need to comeback and approach each team the same way mentally. I think I learned something and grew from that experience."

    Winning game two of the Grambling (9-22) twinbill 6-0, 19th-ranked UL (23-10) improved to 10-0 at home this season.

    But after a slow start this year while dealing with a gimpy shoulder, Tuesday’s dominant performance by Cuevas could be a warning sign that last year’s Sun Belt freshman of the year has arrived.

    Aside from the Western Kentucky debacle – which came at the end of a whirlwind road trip to California and Bowling Green, Ky., with eight games in six days – the Brazoria, Texas, native has gone toe-to-toe with the world’s best team, one ranked among the top 10 in Division I and then overwhelmed Grambling during the past week.

    Cuevas struck out the first five batters she faced against Grambling and 11 of the first 13. The shoulder’s fine and, according to Cuevas, so is the mind after one of her worst career starts.

    "Everything we do is a learning experience, and that’s the way I’ve looked at the games against the really good teams and one like Western Kentucky where I wasn’t so good," said Cuevas, who last year set the program record for wins (31) by a freshman. "I feel I’m improving and that’s the most important thing.

    "I’m not at the top of my game yet, but our defense has my back until I get to where I need to be."

     

    Game 1

    Starting a win streak after losing six of their previous eight games, the Cajuns got four RBIs from All-American candidate Holly Tankersley in the 8-0 win.

    Tankersley’s big hit was a three-run double in the fourth inning to complete the scoring.

    Karli Hubbard went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Vallie Gaspard went 2-for-2 and scored twice.

     

    Game 2

    Freshman Donna Bourgeois continued UL’s pitching dominance against the Tigers, firing a two-hitter in the 6-0 win.

    Improving to 5-2, the Teurlings Catholic grad fanned 10 batters, giving the Cajuns 23 strikeouts in the doubleheader.

    Denean Woods and LaQuisha Wood had the only hits in the two games for Grambling. Jackie Deleon was the only runner to reach second base after a walk and advancing on a groundout in the second inning.

    Hubbard and Katie Smith both went 2-for-4. Vanessa Soto had two RBIs. UL had three triples in the game – Tankersley, Brooke Brodhead and Soto.

     

    Notes

    The perfect game by Cuevas was the second of the season for UL. The first was by freshman Ashley Brignac on March 11 against IUPUI. You have to go back five years to find the last Cajun to pitch a perfect game – All-American Brooke Mitchell to open the season on Feb. 11, 2003 against Louisiana Tech … In its 10-0 start to the home schedule, UL has outscored its opponents 94-6 at Lamson Park … The Cajuns go back on the road to close the week with a single game at Southern Miss on Thursday and a three-game weekend series in Miami against Florida International … Next week will begin a key stretch of home games for UL, which has played 20 of its 26 games on the road. After a single game with McNeese State on April 9, the Cajuns host three-game Sun Belt series against South Alabama on April 12-13 and Florida Atlantic on April 16-17. FAU currently leads the conference at 7-2. The Cajuns are fourth at 3-2.

  •  Athletic Network Footnote: 
    To view photo gallery courtesy of RaginCajuns.com click below
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