UL Softball Loses Big Name From 2018 Schedule
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team has lost a big name program from their 2018 schedule.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have removed themselves from Louisiana's schedule.
Minnesota, who was scheduled to play in the 32nd Annual Louisiana Classics, scheduled for February 22-25 at Lamson Park, will now instead head to Orlando, Florida, to take part in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic.
This is a big loss for the Cajuns, who were slated to face Minnesota twice in the event. The Golden Gophers went 56-5 a season ago, finishing the regular season ranked in the top five.
So, why did Minnesota drop out?
Well, it could be they were concerned about their RPI.
Maybe they think playing the likes of Kentucky, South Alabama, and Duke will be better for them in the long run, as opposed to playing the Cajuns twice, who they may think may not be as good as anticipated, with three key players transferring.
Maybe Minnesota dropped off of UL's schedule because of All-American outfielder Aleah Craighton.
See, Craighton, who announced earlier this week that she will be transferring to Arizona, has a brother, Alonzo Craighton, who plays for the Minnesota football team.
It's quite possible that the Golden Gophers thought they could coax Aleah to go there, with her brother as a selling point, but didn't think Louisiana would release her to anyone on their schedule, which they wouldn't, or shouldn't.
It's quite possible Minnesota dropped themselves from the Cajuns' schedule, in hopes of landing Craighton.
It's also possible it could have been a combination of those things, or just something as simple as easier travel, the opportunity to have their players go to Disney World in Orlando, or just the Diamond 9 providing them with more perks on their trip.
Whatever the case, it's a big loss.
At the same time, it's not the end of the world.
Louisiana will get another team for the Louisiana Classics, and they'll likely have a good RPI at the end of the 2018 season.
It's a time of transition, so not everything is going to be perfect, and a team dropping one tournament, in favor of another, probably happens far more often than we realize.