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Softball: No. 15 Louisiana Starts and Finishes Strong to Capture Sun Belt Opener
Ragin’ Cajuns build a seven-run lead, then halt UT Arlington’s rally at the right moment
ARLINGTON, Texas – No. 15 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball stormed out of the gate with seven runs over the first four innings which proved to be enough to withstand a late push by UT Arlington in a 9-6 win in the team's Sun Belt Conference opener on Friday at Allan Saxe Field.
Alissa Dalton charged the offense with five RBI coming off a 3-for-3 showing at the plate that included two home runs.
Dalton powered a two-run home run to right field in the first inning stretching Louisiana's early lead to 3-0. Three innings later, Kaitlyn Adlerink started a three-run push with an RBI single and the advantage for Louisiana (15-5, 1-0 Sun Belt) ballooned to 7-0.
UT Arlington (3-16, 0-4 Sun Belt) took advantage of a pair of errors in the bottom of the fourth to plate five unearned runs and make the contest more interesting that it was the half inning before.
After the hosts scratched another run in the fifth inning to draw even closer at 7-6, it was Dalton coming through with a clutch two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning for valuable insurance runs.
Kandra Lamb dominated in the circle for the Ragin' Cajuns at the beginning and in the end – allowing a single hit each time. Lamb started off with three scoreless innings, then later re-entered to pitch 2-2/3 more scoreless frames to settle down the Mavericks.
A key 1-2-3 inning recorded by Lamb after Dalton's home run kept the momentum in Louisiana's dugout. She was tested in the final inning when UTA loaded the bases with one out, but had the final word when back-to-back strikeouts – with Maverick hitters looking at strike three – ended the contest.
Louisiana, starting Sun Belt play a week late after the original SBC opening series with Georgia Southern was postponed by COVID concerns within the Eagles' program, won its conference opener for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons.
- Alissa Dalton continued her strong performance since Louisiana's return from a 10-day layoff, moving to 8-for-9 at the plate this week. Dalton has scored four runs, hit two home runs and posted seven RBI since the Texas doubleheader.
- Alissa Dalton has raised her batting average from .311 at the start of the week to the .407 mark she'll carry into Saturday's matchup with the Mavericks.
- Kandra Lamb increased her career strikeout total to 100, reaching the exact mark with the final strikeout in the bases-loaded situation she faced in the seventh inning.
- The eight strikeouts collected in the contest marked the fifth time this season that Kandra Lamb has recorded at least that amount.
- Of the six runs allowed by the Ragin' Cajuns pitching staff, only one was an earned run.
- Ciara Bryan extended her hitting streak to 13 games, stretching out the longest streak by a Ragin' Cajun this season. Bryan has now reached base in all 20 games.
- Dating back to the 2020 season, Ciara Bryan has posted at least one base hit in 41 of the last 48 games she's played in.
- Julie Rawls is having as equally an impressive week as Alissa Dalton, sporting a 7-for-10 showing at the plate with four runs scored and six RBI. Rawls has raised her average from .277 to the current .351 mark.
- Louisiana continued the impressive two-out hitting that's been a trend since the month of March began. Going to back to Game 2 at Texas, the Ragin' Cajuns are hitting .458 (11-for-24) in two-out situations and have generated 10 two-out RBI.
- With the win, the Ragin' Cajuns increased their all-time series lead over UTA to 30-6 which includes a 17-2 mark in Sun Belt Conference games.
- Louisiana moves to 11-2 in games away from Lamson Park this season (8-2 in true road games, 3-0 in neutral site games).
The Ragin' Cajuns and Mavericks continue the weekend series at Allan Saxe Field on Saturday (March 20) with a single game beginning at 2 p.m. (CDT).
No. 15 Louisiana will attempt to secure its 57th consecutive Sun Belt Conference series victory, and extend a streak which dates back to March 2013.
Live coverage is available through SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and CajunStats.com.
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