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Softball: Offense and Defense Combine to Produce Convincing Wins for No. 16 Louisiana Softball
Doubleheader sweep of Georgia State continues impressive streaks for the Ragin’ Cajuns
ATLANTA – The offense paved the way to start the day and a dominant effort in the circle closed out the day as No. 16 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball posted a 10-2 (5 inn.), 4-0 doubleheader sweep of Georgia State in Sun Belt Conference play on Good Friday at the Bob Heck Softball Complex.
Louisiana (24-6, 10-1 Sun Belt) unleashed a 13-hit attack in Game 1 that featured season-high totals in home runs (5) and total bases (28). In Game 2, Kandra Lamb continued her mastery in SBC play by facing only one batter over the minimum and retiring Georgia State (12-17, 0-9 Sun Belt) in order six times.
With the sweep the Ragin' Cajuns claimed the series victory over the Panthers, extending the program's nation-leading and Sun Belt record number of consecutive conference series won to 60 straight dating back to March 2013.
Louisiana also increased its season-best winning streak, which began on March 21 at UT Arlington, to nine games.
Jade Gortarez single-handedly jumpstarted the offense in Game 1 as she staked Louisiana out to a 3-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the first inning and a two-run home run in the third inning.
The early production from Gortarez was more than enough support for Summer Ellyson who struck out seven and held the Panthers scoreless for 4-1/3 innings before a late-game home run spoiled the shutout.
The Ragin' Cajuns placed crooked numbers on the scoreboard in their final three at bats to create the blowout margin. Along the way Sophie Piskos launched a home run in the fourth inning for her first collegiate hit, then to start off the fifth inning Justice Milz, Julie Rawls and Melissa Mayeux all homered in succession to extend the advantage into run-rule territory.
Game 2 saw another quick strike from Louisiana as the visitors plated two runs in the opening inning capped off by an RBI single from Milz.
Lamb protected the early lead, and then some, as she began the game retiring the first 13 GSU batters that she faced. She wound up allowing a single hit to the Panthers and struck out eight.
Additional insurance was gained off an RBI single from Ciara Bryan in the second inning and Rawls' second home run of the day which came in the sixth inning.
- Louisiana continued to build momentum on offense, as Friday's 14-run, 19-hit effort followed up the 22 runs and 29 hits produced in the Georgia Southern series sweep.
- Adding in the six home runs on the opening day in Atlanta, the Ragin' Cajuns have posted 11 home runs over the last six games.
- Prior to the home run allowed in the fifth inning of Game 1, Summer Ellyson had extended her streak of consecutive innings pitched without an earned run allowed to 32-1/3.
- The 13 hits generated in Game 1 marked the third time in four outings that Louisiana reached double digits. It was the 13th time this season the offense delivered 10-plus hits.
- The Game 1 performance for Jade Gortarez marked for the third time in the past five games she hit a home run. It was also her second multiple-RBI game of the season.
- Kandra Lamb's dominance in the circle came less than one week after she retired the side five times in six innings on Sunday vs. Georgia Southern.
- In Sun Belt Conference play, Kandra Lamb has limited the opposition to just three runs, 14 hits, a .123 average and has struck out 46 batters. Lamb improved to 7-0 with a 0.64 ERA in SBC play.
- Both Ragin' Cajuns pitchers now have a sub-2.00 ERA in Sun Belt play, as Summer Ellyson lowered her SBC-only ERA to 1.66.
- During the team's nine-game winning streak, the pitching staff has worked 61 innings and surrendered nine runs (seven earned) while limiting foes to just 32 hits on a .150 average.
- Ciara Bryan kept alive her reached base streak which is now at a season-long 30 games. It's the longest streak by a Ragin' Cajun since Kara Gremillion ended the 2017 season with a 47-game reached base streak.
- Kendall Talley finished 4-for-5 at the plate in the doubleheader with a pair of multiple-hit games. Talley has now delivered multiple hits in all four games this week, a stretch that began Monday vs. Georgia Southern, producing an 8-for-11 showing that has raised her season average to .345.
- Kendall Talley increased her current hitting streak to eight games, matching her longest as a Ragin' Cajun first recorded in the 2020 season. During the streak, Talley is batting a team-leading .522 (12-for-23) with eight runs scored and four RBI.
- Louisiana's current winning streak is the program's longest since the record-setting 29-game streak posted in 2019.
- Louisiana increased its all-time series lead over Georgia State to 30-3. That includes a 19-1 mark in Sun Belt Conference regular season games.
No. 16 Louisiana concludes its three-game series with Georgia State at the Bob Heck Softball Complex in the Atlanta area on Saturday (April 3) with a single game at 12 p.m. (CDT).
Live coverage is available through SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and CajunStats.com.
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