UL Softball Defeats South Alabama In SBC Tournament
The 15th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team began postseason play in fine fashion on Thursday, defeating the South Alabama Jaguars in the second day of play in the 2017 Sun Belt Championship in Troy, Alabama.
Louisiana defeated South Alabama, 6-0, giving them four wins in four tries against the Jaguars this season.
The Cajuns swept a three-game Sun Belt Conference series from South Alabama during the regular season in Mobile, Alabama, winning by scores of 8-3, 4-2, and 9-4.
The regular season conference champions, and the top-seed in the tournament, UL drew a bye on opening day.
The win extended the Cajuns’ current win streak to 11 games, while giving them 26 wins in their last 27 games, including 33 in their last 35.
UL has also now won 30 of their last 31 conference games, dating back to last season.
The win improved Louisiana's record against South Alabama in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament to 5-3, all-time, while moving their all-time record in the event to an impressive 54-8.
The Cajuns have claimed 13 titles in the 17-year history of the tournament.
Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, and in a big way, plating 3 runs on 3 hits in the bottom half of the first inning, courtesy of back-to-back home runs with two outs in the frame, including a 2-run homer by Aleah Craighton, her 17th of the season, followed by a solo shot from Lexie Comeaux, her 10th, to give them a quick 3-0 lead.
The Cajuns added three more runs in the bottom half of the 4th inning, with the first coming on a bases loaded walk to DJ Sanders, followed by a run-scoring single by Haley Hayden, prior to a sacrifice-fly off the bat of Craighton, to extend their lead to 6-0.
That was all that Louisiana would need, as they cruised to the 6-0 shutout triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit South Alabama, 8-2, was led at the plate by Craighton, who homered and drove in three runs, while Comeaux also homered.
Alex Stewart (23-3) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, tossing a complete-game 2-hit shutout, while improving her career Sun Belt Conference record to an amazing 37-1.
Stewart also set a new career-high, with 13 strikeouts in the game.
Destin Vicknair (14-11) suffered the loss for the Jaguars, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, in one inning of work.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 43-6, overall, while South Alabama dropped to 34-19.
The Cajuns next advance in the winners bracket, where they will face either Texas St. or Georgia St. on Friday morning at 10 am.
That's one hour earlier than what was originally scheduled.
Rain in forecasted in the Troy, Alabama area late in the day on Friday, so all games have been moved up one hour.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 9:45 am.