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Softball: Early Surge Separates No. 14 Louisiana Softball from ULM in Series Opener
Seven-run second inning puts Ragin’ Cajuns on fast track to victory
5/7/2021 | 6 p.m.
ESPN 1420 AM
LAFAYETTE – With a seven-run second inning No. 14 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball gained quick separation from ULM and went on to claim a 10-1 (5 inn.) win in the opening game of Senior Weekend at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
The outburst was the continuation of a rapid response from Louisiana (39-9, 20-2 Sun Belt) that began in the first inning when a leadoff double from Ciara Bryan led to a manufactured run that countered a leadoff home run from ULM's Jayden Mount.
The Ragin' Cajuns pulled ahead of the Warhawks (15-29, 5-14 Sun Belt) for good when an RBI single from Kendall Talley (2-for-3, run, RBI) snapped the 1-all tie and jumpstarted the second-inning splurge.
Karly Heath and Sophie Piskos followed with singles to load the bases, then later it was Bailey Curry delivering the big hit with a pinch-hit, two-run single that extended the advantage to 5-1.
Before ULM could escape the inning, single runs came in off a double steal, Alissa Dalton RBI ground out and a Julie Rawls solo home run putting Louisiana in complete control at 8-1.
Summer Ellyson (5.0 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 7 K) did not allow a single Warhawks runner to pass second base after the first inning tally, preventing any response from the visitors and any chance of the margin being trimmed down. She fanned seven over the final four innings including two key back-to-back punch outs after Mount doubled to start the third inning.
Ellyson's efforts to maintain the seven-run margin were rewarded in the fifth inning when a two-run home run from Karly Heath (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI) allowed Louisiana to walk off early.
- Senior shortstop Alissa Dalton returned to the lineup for the first time since Saturday, April 3 at Georgia State, ending a string of 16 straight games missed with a hand injury.
- With the home run in the second inning, Julie Rawls clinched the first 50-RBI season of her collegiate career. It was her team-leading ninth home run of the season.
- Adding in Karly Heath's walk-off home run, the Ragin' Cajuns have posted multiple home runs in three consecutive games.
- Louisiana increased its Sun Belt-leading home run totals to 56 overall and 35 in conference play. The overall season home run total is two shy of matching the 2019 team (58 home runs) for the highest output in the Gerry Glasco era.
- The two-run single from Bailey Curry marked the second time in the past three outings she's delivered a multiple-RBI performance. Curry has recorded at least one hit in four of the past five games.
- Kendall Talley picked up her 11th multiple-hit game of the season, second on the team only to Ciara Bryan. Six of the multiple-hit efforts have come in Sun Belt play, where she's totaled 22 of her season's 38 base hits on a .393 average.
- The leadoff double by Ciara Bryan marked the 45th time in 48 games played in the 2021 season in which she's posted at least one base hit. Bryan adding another hit to the first 70-hit season of her career, her 72 hits ranking No. 3 nationally.
- Even though a hit wasn't recorded, it was a productive return to action for Alissa Dalton as she generated two RBI in her three plate appearances.
- The walk-off home run marked Karly Heath's eight extra base hit in Sun Belt play (3 doubles, 5 home runs). Heath is batting .370 with a .761 slugging percentage in SBC action.
- Summer Ellyson posted career win No. 93 moving her within one win of tying Ashley Brignac (94 from 2008-12) for third place in program history.
- Summer Ellyson collected her 19th win of the 2021 season, placing her on the verge of capturing the third 20-win season of her collegiate career (23 in 2018, 39 in 2019).
- Summer Ellyson improved to 11-1 in Sun Belt Conference play in the 2021 season. In conference play, she's recorded a 1.57 ERA over 76 innings pitched while limiting opposing batters to 21 runs (17 earned) and 54 base hits on a .193 average.
- Louisiana improved to 34-0 when scoring five or more runs in a game during the 2021 season.
- The pitching staff limited the opposition to two runs or less for the 29th time overall this season (out of 48 games), and for the 16th time in 22 Sun Belt Conference outings.
- Louisiana captured its 23rd consecutive win over ULM, a streak which dates back to 2012.
No. 14 Louisiana seeks to claim the series victory from ULM on Friday when the two teams meet in a 6 p.m. single game at Lamson Park.
The Ragin' Cajuns also have a chance to reach the 40-win mark for the 22nd consecutive completed season, a streak which dates back to the 1999 season.
Live video coverage is available on ESPN, and Ragin' Cajuns fans can also follow along on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and at CajunStats.com.
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