Softball: UL destroys Troy; field dedicated to softball legend Girouard
Nick Fontenot, Special to the Advertiser, March 15, 2019
Click here for photo gallery by James Mays, Special to the Advertiser.
Click here for the Athletic Network Tribute to Coach Yvette Girouard - scroll down to view Living Memorials written by former players, coaches, administrators, and others.
Click here for post-game video of Yvette Girouard and Dan McDonald with Yvette describing her reaction to the surprise of the softball field being named the "Yvette Girouard Field."
Former UL softball coach Yvette Girouard throws out the first pitch as the Ragin' Cajuns take on the Troy Trojans at Lamson Park, Yvette Girouard Field on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo: James Mays/Special to the Advertiser)
UL kicked off its Sun Belt Conference home opening series against Troy with a decisive 8-1 victory Friday night.
Julie Rawls continued her tear at the plate, going 3-for-3 and hitting her seventh home run of the season. Keeli Milligan stole her 32nd base of the year and scored the game-winning run on an errant over throw from Troy’s Kaylee Hussey.
Cajuns coach Gerry Glasco said he was concerned the festivities Friday night would disrupt the routine the Cajuns have grown accustomed to at Lamson Park. Not only was it Alumni Reunion Series, but the field at Lamson Park was dedicated to longtime softball coach Yvette Girouard.
“As a coach, you always worry about anything extra disrupting the chemistry or the tempo of the game,” Glasco said. “I’ve been nervous all day, but I was thrilled this one turned out the way it did.”
Friday’s game was almost secondary to the dedication of Yvette Girouard Field. Girouard began the UL softball program in 1980 and coached at the school until 2000. She then coached at LSU from 2001-2011. Glasco said Girouard is the architect of the program Cajuns fans have grown to love today.
“She started this program in a time where women had to fight for everything they got in women’s sports,” Glasco said. “Her parents supported her and the university supported her and she built it from the ground up.
“When you look at Lamson Park, it has so much more character than most of the new stadiums. This isn’t where they reluctantly took $50 million out of the football budget and built a stadium because of Title IX stuff. This is a place where the fans love the girls and they love the program and a lot of blood sweat and tears into this place for many many years. They built a little bit here and a little bit there and built a state-of-the-art facility for us to compete in every single day.”
Glasco said he was happy the Cajuns could compartmentalize the potential distractions to get to Troy ace pitcher Leanna Johnson. Johnson had a 2.12 ERA heading into Friday, but the Cajuns roughed her up for seven earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings.
“It was huge for us to come out and get a decisive victory against their ace,” Glasco said. “She’s got a real good ERA and averaging about eight strikeouts a game. I think it was important for us to send a message. We were prepared and ready, and I like seeing the kids having success with the scouting report. Anytime they do good, they trust you more the next time.”
Glasco said performing well Friday while former players were in attendance and the festivities for Girouard were taking place was important for future crowds. He said it was important to showcase the fantastic atmosphere at Lamson Park.
“Yvette is not just a legend here; she’s a legend all over the country. It’s great to see her honored. It was huge for us to send a message to our crowd that this is a fun place to be on a Friday night. We want that crowd to grow every week with this team.”