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Softball Wins the Critical Moment to Take Series Opener from South Alabama
Ragin’ Cajuns took full advantage of first scoring opportunity to end stalemate
LAFAYETTE – No. 16 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball took full advantage of the first opportunity presented with to score and the result was a 1-0 win over South Alabama in a classic pitcher's duel on Friday at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
The Ragin' Cajuns (17-6, 3-1 Sun Belt) forced the issue in the fifth inning after a leadoff walk to Kaitlyn Alderink. A stolen base and an errant throw by the Jaguars led to Alderink quickly reaching third base.
The errant throw placed a runner in scoring position for Louisiana for the first time in the then-scoreless affair. Not wanting to waste the premium chance, Melissa Mayeux perfectly executed the squeeze bunt which allowed Alderink to score the eventual game-winning run.
The Ragin' Cajuns success overshadowed a missed opportunity for South Alabama (16-9, 6-1 Sun Belt) in the top half of the fifth inning. The leadoff batter reached via an error, which was the first mistake in the game by either team, but a 6-4-3 double play later in the frame halted the Jaguars progress.
Summer Ellyson held the Jaguars to two hits the entire evening, struck out six, and at one point had retired 10 consecutive batters heading into the fifth inning.
No outs recorded were more important for Ellyson than back-to-back strikeouts posted in the sixth inning after a sacrifice bunt placed the potential equalizing run into scoring position.
The win was career No. 80 for Ellyson who became just the sixth pitcher in Ragin' Cajuns history to reach the milestone.
- Louisiana played its first home game at Lamson Park since the March 4 Baylor game. It ended a lapse of 22 consecutive days away from the facility.
- Summer Ellyson stretched out her streak of consecutive innings pitched without an earned run allowed to 17 innings. The recent success began after re-entering in Game 2 at UT Arlington.
- Ciara Bryan extended her personal career-best hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the sixth inning. It's the longest streak by a Ragin' Cajun since Brianna Cherry's 17-game hitting streak back in the 2013 season.
- In addition to extending her hitting streak, Ciara Bryan has now reached base safely in all 23 games this season.
- Louisiana improved to 5-1 in one-run games in the 2021 season, winning just for the second time when scoring less than five runs.
- Ragin' Cajuns pitching held the opposition to two runs or less for the 12th time (undefeated when doing so) and collected the staff's sixth shutout of the season.
- For the second straight outing, Louisiana's pitching staff did not yield an earned run. The last earned run allowed came in the second inning of Game 2 at UT Arlington (Saturday, March 20).
- The Ragin' Cajuns extended their winning streak over South Alabama to 13 games – the longest streak in the all-time series.
- Louisiana increased its all-time series lead over South Alabama to 35-11 which includes an 19-2 mark at Lamson Park.
No. 16 Louisiana attempts to secure the series victory in the Sun Belt Conference weekend set on Saturday. The Ragin' Cajuns are Jaguars meet in a 2 p.m. single game at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
It will be the first of two opportunities for Louisiana to extend its streak of consecutive Sun Belt Conference series won to 58 straight – a streak which began in March 2013.
Live coverage is available through SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and CajunStats.com.
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