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Softball: UL softball hoping to learn from Oregon sweep

Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, April 28, 2015



UL pitcher Jordan Wallace (7) will try to put an up-and-down weekend at Oregon behind her when the Cajuns try to wrap up the Sun Belt title at UL Monroe this weekend.(Photo: Paul Kieu/The Advertiser)


It wasn’t fun.

Losing rarely is, especially when you’re as used to winning as the UL Ragin’ Cajuns softball program has been for almost three decades now.

Getting run-ruled twice was certainly out of the ordinary. Michigan was the last team to do it on Feb. 15 of last season at Lamson Park one day after UL defeated the Wolverines 8-6.

The time before that was in the final game of the 2012 season in the third game of the Super Regional at Arizona State – 8-0 in six innings.

Instead of continuing to sulk over the rough weekend, UL coach Michael Lotief and senior leftfielder Shellie Landry chose to look on the brighter side of the experience at Monday’s weekly press luncheon.

Lotief drew comparisons to past UL road trips to Pac-12 programs. He remembered freshman pitcher Brooke Mitchell taking some lumps in a 6-2, 8-0, 7-2 road sweep at Arizona in 2002, and then being motivating from that experience to soon become one of the top pitchers in the program’s history.

Then there was the 2006 road trip to Arizona (5-0, 10-1, 6-2) – also a humbling sweep – and the 2010 Super Regional at UCLA (lost 10-2, 10-1). In 2012 at Arizona State, UL won game one 6-0 and then lost 9-2 and 8-0.

In other words, the only thing unprecedented about this past week’s performance at No. 2 Oregon was if the Cajuns had performed well and won the series.

But after two “non-competitive” games, Lotief said he was beaming with pride during the 2-1 loss in eight innings in the series finale because “the team was change the mindset in 24 hours.”

Landry said the team learned valuable lessons from the sweep.

“I think the biggest thing is the lessons we learned,” said Landry, who said she felt much like did leaving Ann Arbor after the Super Regional in 2013 and after leaving Oklahoma City last year, except for the fact that the season isn’t over this year.

“I don’t think we’re that far away from being able to beat a team like that.”

Lotief said he “felt it in his bones” that the two teams would meet again. He pointed out that UL swept a Saturday doubleheader from Oklahoma at Lamson Park last year, only to lose to OU at the Women’s College World Series to end last season.

Lotief said the two runs in five innings in game two was enough offense, but in that game, sophomore Alex Stewart suffered her worst outing of the season, giving up nine runs on seven hits and seven walks in just 3.2 innings.

“Alex got exposed a little bit, but because she’s a young pitcher, let’s see what she’s going to do over the next month,” said Lotief, who said Christina Hamilton “did some good things that you can build on” in her relief outing at Oregon.

Jordan Wallace, meanwhile, enjoyed one tough and one sparkling performance.

“Jordan just needs to find a way to be consistent,” Lotief said.

Now the Cajuns turn their focus on their weekend series at UL Monroe. With a 17-3 Sun Belt record, UL is hoping to hold off South Alabama (33-9, 14-3). As long as the Cajuns equal or better South Alabama’s record for the weekend, the Cajuns will win the Sun Belt regular season title.

UL at UL Monroe

Series: 2 p.m. doubleheader Saturday, Noon single game Sunday.

Site: ULM Softball Complex.

Records: UL 34-8, 17-3; ULM 28-17, 10-9.