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Softball: Preseason Preparations for 2020 Season Underway at Lamson Park
Louisiana Softball gearing up for the third campaign of the Gerry Glasco era
LAFAYETTE – The countdown to the start of the 2020 season is officially underway for Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball as the squad opened preseason practice at Yvette Griouard Field at Lamson Park earlier this week.
The Ragin' Cajuns, entering year three under the leadership of head coach Gerry Glasco, seek to build upon one of the program's most successful seasons. The 2019 squad swept the Sun Belt regular season and tournament championships, turned in only the second undefeated Sun Belt mark in conference history (25-0), boasted a Top 10 national ranking, earned the program's 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament bid and recorded the first 50-win campaign since 2012.
Glasco and his staff are back out on the field with the 2020 squad for the first time since the fall practice period, which he feels has set them up for a solid preseason camp.
"Our coaching staff felt that the fall was very productive for us, and now is the time to build upon that," Glasco said. "We were able to discover different options that should allow us to play as many as 12 hitters in two or three different lineups this spring, as needed.
"Our pitching staff displayed both the quality and depth that we have been searching for," Glasco added. "(Summer) Ellyson and (Megan) Kleist have been exactly what we hoped for, while the rest of the staff seemed to grow in their confidence this fall."
Louisiana (52-6, 25-0 Sun Belt in 2019) is set to practice throughout the month of January and into early February, working to accomplish the vision which Glasco has set for his team's style of play.
"We want more balance – from one through nine – in our lineup this season, with more consistent power from all nine spots," Glasco said. "Not necessarily just home run power, but extra base-hit type power and the ability to drive the ball through the gaps."
The Ragin' Cajuns list of returning position players is highlighted by 2019 Sun Belt Player of the Year Alissa Dalton and 2019 Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year Sarah Hudek, plus two of the team's top home run hitters in Raina O'Neal and Julie Rawls who generated 10 apiece last season.
In the circle, reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year and All-American Summer Ellyson (39-6, 1.11 ERA in 2019), who led all levels of collegiate softball in victories a year ago, will carry the torch once again. She will be joined by another All-American in Megan Kleist, the former Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year, who is one of several incoming transfers expected to make an impact.
WHAT THEY ARE BUILDING TOWARD
Louisiana is set to begin the highly anticipated 2020 season on Friday, Feb. 7 at Lamson Park, opening play in the 34th Annual Louisiana Classics against Ball State at 4 p.m. and UTSA at 6 p.m. It's the start of a season-opening, eight-game homestand which concludes with a meeting with Louisiana State on Saturday, Feb. 15 (the Tigers first visit since 2001).
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE
Season tickets, beginning at $101 for outfield seating, are currently on sale and can be purchased by phone at (337) 265-2170, online at RaginCajuns.com using Account Manager, or by visiting the Cajundome Box Office in-person Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and extended hours during Ragin' Cajuns basketball events.
The Ragin' Cajuns are scheduled to play 28 games at Lamson Park in the regular season, highlighted by a visit from Louisiana State on Feb. 15 and Sun Belt Conference series with rivals Texas State and South Alabama.
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