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Softball: No. 2 Florida sweeps sloppy Cajuns + photo gallery

Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, Feb. 18, 2018

Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.

Click here for the game photo gallery.

Very little irritates UL coach Gerry Glasco more than walks.

Even worse is when those walks come against an extremely patient team like the No. 2-ranked Florida Gators.

“They’re not going to swing at those pitches, so why walk them?” Glasco said with a raised voice. “Make them put the ball in play.”

More: Glasco learned from first Florida experience

In losing a doubleheader 4-0 and 9-0 at Lamson Park on Saturday, Glasco’s No. 16-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns issued free pass after free pass.

In the two games, UL’s staff combined for 16 walks and hit three batters.

And the defense committed four errors and at times played worse than that even sounds.

“You just can’t give a high-quality team like Florida that many bases,” Glasco said. “You have to pound the zone against Florida.”

More: Cajuns extend streak with win over Oregon State

Indeed.

The good news for the Cajuns, though, is the bulk of the ugliness all took place in the second game. The first game was actually quite good.

The Cajuns got a runner in scoring position in the first inning and got a single to center by Alissa Dalton. Glasco sent Brittany Rodriguez, who was thrown out at the plate.

“Opponents are only hitting about .160 against them, so when we got a chance to score on them, I was going to send the runner and force them to make the play — put pressure on them,” Glasco said.

Florida’s certainly difficult to score on. Of their eight games so far this season, the Gators’ pitching staff has tossed seven shutouts.

More: Cajuns softball climbs in national polls after 5-0 weekend

In other words, there may be legitimate questions about the Cajuns' lack of RBI punch in the middle of the order long term, but this isn't the series to over-analyze the lineup.

Later, in game two, Casidy Chaumont was also thrown out at the plate after the ball went through Florida shortstop Sophia Reynoso.

“Again, I was just trying to get something started,” Glasco explained. “I actually misjudged how far the ball went behind her. I thought it was going to get about 15 feet behind her, but it must have only went about 6 feet past her.”

After Rodriguez was gunned down in the first inning of that first game, the Cajuns only got two more runners in scoring position the rest of the way.

More: UL softball begins challenging home weekend

UL’s pitching, though, was matching Florida starter Kelly Barnhill for much of the game. It was 0-0 until the sixth when Nicole DeWitt and Janell Wheaton both smashed two-run homers to provide the game’s only runs.

Freshman Casey Dixon gave up three hits on two runs and three walks in 3.1 innings.

“I thought Casey showed that she’s capable of throwing really well against a high-caliber team,” Glasco said.

It was actually Kylee Jo Trahan who gave up the first homer to break the 0-0 deadlock with one out in the sixth.

Glasco said he was only going to pitch Trahan or Summer Ellyson on Saturday if the Cajuns had a chance to win.

Ellyson will start Sunday’s game.

“I felt real good about the first game,” Glasco said. “Things just got away from us in the second game. At times, we looked like a Little League team.”

No. 16 Louisiana and No. 2 Florida conclude the weekend series on Sunday in a 1 p.m. single game at Lamson Park. The game is dubbed a "White Out" with fans being encouraged to wear white.
 
The action can be heard on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM in the Acadiana region and worldwide on the ESPN 1420 app. A live stream of the contest will be available on the Ragin' Cajuns Digital Network.



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