UL Softball Preview: Chattanooga
The 25th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun softball team will take on the Chattanooga Mocs on Saturday at 2:30 pm in their third game of the Gulfport College Classic in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Chattanooga will head into the Gulfport College Classic with an overall record of 8-6, with wins over BYU, Nevada, Portland St., Butler, Northwestern St., Radford, Toledo, and Campbell, with losses to Fordham, South Dakota, LIU-Brooklyn, Kansas, Boise St., and Oregon.
The Mocs are hitting a .296 as a team, with 12 homers, 68 RBI’s, and four stolen bases.
Offensively, Chattanooga is led by sophomore catcher Anyssa Robles, who is hitting a .405, along with two home runs, and 11 RBI’s.
A preseason second team All-Southern Conference selection, Robles also paces the team in both slugging percentage (.619) and on-base percentage (.458).
Sophomore shortstop Cricket Blanco is another offensive weapon, hitting a .350, along with two homers, and 14 runs batted in.
Robles and Blanco hit third and fourth in the order, respectively, so the UL pitchers have to keep the top two hitters off base, thereby facing Robles and Blanco with the bases empty, or they have to limit the production of the two.
Of course, doing both is the best case scenario, but doing either/or should be enough to hold down Chattanooga's offense, and give the Cajuns a good chance to win.
Pitching-wise, Chattanooga brings in an overall team ERA. of 2.03 into the tournament.
Junior right-hander Taylor Deason, who threw 195.1 innings in 2013, is 4-3, with a 0.79 ERA. this season. Deason has only started two games, but she's appeared in ten of the Mocs' first 14 games this year.
Sophomore right-hander Katie Henderson is 3-2, with a 2.73 ERA., along with 28 strikeouts in 31 innings of work.
Henderson, a transfer from Kentucky, was 3-1, along with a 1.88 ERA. as a freshman with the Wildcats last season.
The Mocs, a member of the Southern Conference, are coming off of a 26-28 record a season ago. They're probably a couple of years away from competing for an NCAA Regional berth, but UL can ill-afford to take them lightly, as a win over a program with a stature of the Cajuns would be one of their biggest wins of the year.
Louisiana will play twice on Friday, against UTSA (11 am) and Baylor (5 pm), twice more on Saturday, against Chattanooga (2:30 pm) and Ohio (5:30 pm), and once on Sunday, against Memphis (10:30 am).
You can hear all of the UL games on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes prior to first-pitch for each game.