UL Softball Set To Take On Oklahoma In Super Regional Play – Preview
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun softball team will travel to Norman, Oklahoma on Thursday night, to take on the Oklahoma Sooners, in the opening game of a best-of-three game NCAA Super Regional series.
The first game is scheduled for Thursday night at 8 o’clock, with the second game slated for Friday evening at 6 pm.
If necessary, the third and decisive game will be played on Friday night at approximately 9 o’clock.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on ESPN 1420 and espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show, 15 minutes prior to first-pitch.
Louisiana, making their 5th-consecutive Super Regional appearance, and their 7th in the last 9 years, is currently 46-7 on the season, while Oklahoma, making their 7th-consecutive trip to Super Regional, will enter the series with an overall mark of 50-7.
The Cajuns, who won both the regular season Sun Belt Conference championship, as well as the Sun Belt Conference postseason tournament crown, won the Lafayette, La. at Lamson Park last weekend, defeating Boston University (9-5), Texas (9-1), and Texas A&M (9-8 in 9 innings).
Offensively, Louisiana is hitting a .341, to go along with 104 home runs, 388 runs batted in, and 52 stolen bases.
The Cajuns have outhit the opposition .341/.217, while also holding down the advantage in the hits (471/268), runs scored (426/112), home run (104/27), and stolen base (52/21) departments.
Louisiana is paced by senior catcher Lexie Elkins, the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Student/Athlete of the Year, who is hitting a .505 with 18 home runs and 48 runs batted in only 35 games.
The Cajuns feature five more players in the line-up who all have double-digit home runs on the season, including Aleah Craighton (18), D.J. Sanders (18), Shellie Landry (16), Kelsey Vincent (14), and Sara Corbello, while 7 of the 9 starters are hitting over .300.
The Louisiana pitching staff, which has held the opposition to a 1.88 ERA. against, as well as a .217 batting average against, features junior right-hander Alex Stewart, the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, who will enter the series with a record of 29-4 with a 1.64 ERA.
Oklahoma, who won the regular season Big XII crown, will enter the series riding a 25-game win streak, after winning the Norman, Oklahoma last weekend, with a win over Wichita St., and then two over Ole Miss.
Offensively, Oklahoma is hitting a .359, to go along with 59 home runs, 340 runs batted in, and 69 stolen bases.
The Sooners have outhit the opposition .359/.192, while also holding down the advantage in the hits (539/241), runs scored (372/122), home run (59/26), and stolen base (69/8) departments.
Oklahoma, who features a line-up in which all 9 starters are hitting over a .300, is paced by Erin Miller, who is hitting a .401 with 9 home runs and 47 runs batted in, while Shay Knighten has belted 11 home runs and driven home 48 runs.
Pitching-wise, the Sooners feature sophomore left-hander Paige Parker, who is 28-3 with a 1.45 ERA.
Stewart and Parker are similar, in that both throw strikes.
Stewart has walked only 36 batters in 196 innings, while Parker has allowed only 46 free passes in 183.1 innings of work.
The other place where both teams are similar is defensively.
The Cajuns have made only 39 errors is season, and are fielding at a .971 clip, while the Sooners have been even better, only making 22 all season, and fielding at a .984 mark.
The winner of the series qualifies for the 2016 Women's College World Series, which is set to get underway next week in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.