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Softball: Cajuns enjoy power display in sweep + game photo gallery

Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, March 17, 2018

She didn’t want to get her hopes up.

On Thursday night in the 2-0 win over FIU, UL third baseman Kara Gremillion smashed two fly balls that looked like home runs off the bat.

One was caught right in front of the wall and the other wasn’t that close.

So when Gremillion hit a long fly ball with one out in the bottom of the third Saturday against Appalachian State at Lamson Park, she didn’t want to get ahead of herself.

More: PHOTOS- Cajuns Softball vs. App State

“Honestly, I was thinking I was never going to hit one,” Gremillion laughed. “When it was hit, I was thinking, ‘It’s probably going to get caught at the fence again,' so I didn’t even get my hopes up. When it went over, it was a big sigh of relief. It was awesome.”

That homer helped the No. 20-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns win Game One 5-0, before Alissa Dalton’s three-run homer led to an 8-0 nightcap in run-rule fashion to complete the sweep.

That now makes it three homers in the last four games for the Cajuns (17-6, 4-1) to give the team eight on the season.

“It’s a great feeling (run-rule win),” Gremillion said. “It just really shows how we’ve been working on our two-out hitting and our situational hitting. It makes us seem more dominant. We’ve been so close.

More: Dixon's role on UL staff no laughing matter

“It definitely is nice to get one hit and score a run rather than having to put a bunch of hits together. I think we make it work. We have to pass the bat more, but we’ll get it.”

Dalton’s homer highlighted a five-run third inning in Saturday’s second game.

“Same thing as always, I was just trying to see a good pitch and hit it hard,” Dalton said. “It went in my favor and went over. That happens sometimes. It was great. I loved it. If I could do that all the time, I would, but at the same time I try to focus on hitting it hard on the ground and line drives.

“For me especially, if I try to hit a lot of home runs, you’re going to get more pop ups.”

For Dalton, it’s a matter of not allowing the preoccupation with hitting home runs mess up her swing.

More: UL's win provides some normalcy on bizarre day

“We like to talk about hitting it hard on the ground and being selfless in our at-bats, especially for a type of hitter like me,” Dalton said. “I’m good at knocking base hits through. It’s more see the ball and hit the ball hard and not necessarily focused on hitting home runs.”

Another good offensive sign in Saturday’s sweep was the emergence of Kalyn Watts off the bench with an infield single in the first game and then going 2-for-2, including the RBI single that ended the nightcap.

“Watts has been doing really well in practice,” UL coach Gerry Glasco said. “She’s obviously a big strong athlete. I want to build a little more depth for certainly situations. Like when slappers come up with runners on first and second and two outs, I want to have three or four girls we can put in and pinch hit in those situations.”

Of course, Glasco’s joy over Watts’ day at the plate went deeper than the statistics.

More: Ellyson taking new ace role in stride

“To see my whole team run out of the dugout really happy for Kalyn,” Glasco said. “I want them to be selfless. The team was really happy for her when she got the walk-off hit. I told them in postgame that meant more to me than anything that happened today. I want them to care about each other and rooting for each other.”

As a team, the Cajuns collected 21 total hits on the day, hitting .437 overall on the day.

More: Dalton feels right at home with Cajuns

“It's a step,” Glasco said. “We’re trying to become a more offensive team. We’ve been working on all of these situations. It’s definitely a sign that we’re moving in the right direction.”

And there are fringe benefits to such a power display.

“We’re pumped in there,” Dalton said. “We’ve actually got a piñata in there that we’re about to bust up. To see it all starting to click in all aspects of the game, it shows that the hard work is starting to pay off.”

 



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