Softball: No. 11 Louisiana Tops Texas State in SBC Opener, 6-1
SAN MARCOS, Texas – 11th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball opened Sun Belt Conference play on Friday and claimed a 6-1 win over Texas State at Bobcat Softball Stadium.
Louisiana (16-3, 1-0 Sun Belt) quickly captured the momentum with home runs from Sarah Hudek and Raina O'Neal building a 3-0 advantage two innings into the contest.
Pitchers Summer Ellyson and Kandra Lamb combined to allow only one Texas State baserunner to move past second base, the solo home run in the third inning which put the hosts on the scoreboard.
The Ragin' Cajuns and Bobcats (9-12, 0-1 Sun Belt) opened SBC play against one another for the first time.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS O'Neal, who netted her RBI total with her home run, and Julie Rawls led Louisiana with two RBI apiece.
Hudek finished 2-for-3 at the plate for her third consecutive multiple-hit game dating back to the Oklahoma Tournament. Rawls (2-for-2) joined her in posting a team-leading two hits, tying Hudek for the team lead with six multi-hit games.
Hudek reached base each of her first three plate appearances, crossing home plate each time for a team-leading three runs scored.
Ellyson scattered four hits over five innings and struck out four in picking up her 10th victory. Lamb pitched two scoreless innings after making her Sun Belt Conference debut in the sixth inning.
KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
Hudek assured Louisiana would score in its first at bat, after a runner left early wiped out an early base runner, by belting a two-out, solo home run.
Two batters into the second inning, the Ragin' Cajuns were up by three runs. Rawls led off with a sharp single through the right side, then O'Neal followed with her blast over the right center field wall.
The Ragin' Cajuns chased Texas State starter Meagan King in the third inning after Keeli Milligan singled and Hudek walked. Both would score off a Bailey Curry RBI single and Rawls sacrifice fly, respectively, to increase the lead to 5-0.
After the Bobcats picked up a run off a leadoff homer from Christiana McDowell in the third inning, Ellyson prevented any type of momentum shift by retiring the next three batters.
Alissa Daltonsnagged a hard-hit line drive in the sixth inning and promptly turned a double play to give Lamb a scoreless first inning of relief. The Bobcats got a runner aboard the base path following a leadoff walk.
The two home runs increased Louisiana's season total to 23, which equals the output from 2018 only 19 games into the present campaign.
Summer Ellyson, who posted a 23-10 mark in 2018, reached double digits in wins for the second consecutive season.
Since March 1, Sarah Hudek is batting 7-for-8 with two home runs and two doubles (past three games). She has raised her average to .423 and now has a team-leading 11 extra base hits (6 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs).
Louisiana won its Sun Belt-opening contest for the 10th straight season and moved within one win of extending its current streak of league series won (currently at 46 straight dating back to March 2013).
UP NEXT No. 11 Louisiana and Texas State meet in Game 2 of the Sun Belt Conference Opening Series on Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Bobcat Softball Stadium in San Marcos.
Fans can listen to the action called by Bobby Neveaux on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM. A live stream, for purchase, is available at TXStateBobcats.com/Watch.
SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE • Season tickets, beginning at $100, are available online at RaginCajuns.com using Account Manager, by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2170 or by visiting the ticket office in person Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and extended hours during Ragin' Cajuns basketball events. • Fans who purchase season tickets receive priority access for any potential NCAA postseason games held at Lamson Park. • For information on premium seating and parking at Lamson Park, contact the Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation (RCAF) at (337) 851-2903. General admission parking at Cajun Field will be free for all games during the 2019 season.