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Softball: Charged by Ciara Bryan, Ragin’ Cajuns Capture Home-Opening Win
Senior outfielder sparks offense with first home runs of the season
LAFAYETTE – Ciara Bryan homered twice in her debut at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park and the pitching duo of Casey Dixon and Vanessa Foreman combined for the shutout as No. 7 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball claimed its 2021 home opener 9-0 (5 inn.) over Eastern Illinois.
Bryan's first home run – also her first as a Ragin' Cajun – was the highlight of a key six-run third inning which gave the Ragin' Cajuns (5-0) a decisive edge in the matchup that featured the father-daughter head coach duo of Louisiana's Gerry Glasco and EIU's Tara (Glasco) Archibald.
The two-run blast to right center off the bat of Bryan (2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI) stretched the lead to 3-0, after entering the frame in a scoreless tie. Fellow Georgia transfer Justice Milz delivered the knockout punch before the inning expired with a two-run single that capped off the scoring.
Bryan's second home run (solo shot) was coupled with a textbook no-doubter off the bat of Julie Rawls giving Louisiana three additional runs in the fourth inning and brought the advantage into run-rule territory.
Dixon settled in after a pair of two-out singles in the first inning, retiring 10 of the final 11 batters that she faced. In her Lamson Park debut, Foreman wrapped up the pitching staff's second shutout of the season.
Tuesday's contest began a stretch in which Louisiana will play eight games over a six-day stretch.
- The margin of victory marked the fourth win by six or more runs for Louisiana.
- The victory marked the ninth straight for the Ragin' Cajuns dating back to the 2020 season.
- The Ragin' Cajuns reached eight runs for the fourth time in five outings to start the 2021 season.
- Ciara Bryan posted her team-leading fourth multiple-hit game. Five games into the 2021 campaign, Bryan is batting .526 (10-for-19).
- Dating back to the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, Ciara Bryan is batting .410 (43-for-105) over the last 33 games competed.
- Ten (10) different individuals combined to generate the 12 hits recorded by the Ragin' Cajuns.
- Louisiana has now posted 10-plus hits in four of the five games on the young season. Tuesday's performance raised the Ragin' Cajuns batting average to .356.
- For the fourth time in five games the pitching staff limited foes to three hits or fewer.
- Summer Ellyson pinch hit in the fourth inning, marking the first at bat of her collegiate career. During her at bat, Vanessa Foreman was inserted as a pinch runner.
- The Ragin' Cajuns picked up four stolen bases increasing the team's season total to 13 (now averaging 2.6 stolen bases per game).
No. 7 Louisiana hosts McNeese (3-6) on Wednesday (Feb. 24) in the first game of a home-and-home series between the two I-10 neighbors. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. live on TalkRadio 960-AM.
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