UL Softball Sweeps Doubleheader From ULM
The 16th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team continues to roll in league action, after sweeping a Sun Belt Conference doubleheader from the ULM Warhawks on Saturday in Monroe, Louisiana.
Louisiana captured the first game, 4-0, before taking the second game, 6-5.
The Cajuns had already clinched the regular season Sun Belt Conference championship for a 4th-consecutive season heading into the series, including their 15th in the 17 years of softball play in the league.
The contests marked the first two games of a three-game league series, and the first two games of a regular season-ending series for both teams.
The wins extended the Cajuns’ current win streak to nine games, while giving them 24 wins in their last 25 games, and 31 in their last 33.
UL has also now won 28 of their last 29 conference games, dating back to last season.
The two triumphs also guarantees Louisiana their 37th-consecutive league series victory, a school and Sun Belt Conference record.
The Cajuns haven’t lost a league series since 2013, when they dropped 2-of-3 to South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama.
In the opener, Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, scoring two runs in the top half of the 3rd inning, when Kara Gremillion delivered a run-scoring single, before DJ Sanders plated a second run with a sacrifice fly, to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Cajuns added two more runs in the top half of the 5th inning, when Gremillion drove home a run with a single, before Sanders belted a solo home run, her 28th of the season, to widen their advantage to 4-0.
It was a strange homer for Sanders, as Gremillion, who was at first base, was called out for not touching second base, making it a solo long ball with a runner on base.
In turned out that that would be all that the Cajuns would need, as they coasted to the 4-run shutout triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit ULM, 8-4, was led at the plate by Sanders, who homered and drove home two runs, along with Gremillion, who went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI's.
Alex Stewart (21-3) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, tossing 7 innings of 4-hit shutout softball, while moving her career record in Sun Belt Conference play to an amazing 35-1.
Paige Porter-Murray (6-6) suffered the loss for the Warhawks, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, over 7 innings.
In the second game, it was Louisiana again that got on the scoreboard first, plating three runs in the top half of the first inning, when Aleah Craighton singled home a run before UL added two unearned runs, to jump out to a quick 3-0 lead.
The Cajuns pushed across three more runs in the top half of the half of the 3nd inning, when Haley Hayden blasted a 3-run home run, her 12th of the season, before adding another unearned run, as they extended their lead to 6-0.
ULM scored their first run of the day in the bottom half of the 4th inning, when Jessie Watts drove home a run with a sacrifice fly, to trim the deficit to 6-1.
The Warhawks drew closer in the bottom half of the 5th inning, scoring twice more, when Jayden Mount drove home two runs with a double, to make it 6-3.
ULM made it 5-unanswered runs with two more runs in the bottom half of the 6th inning, courtesy of run-scoring singles from Jessie Watts and Sami Billeaudeau, to close the gap to 6-5.
That would be all that the Warhawks would get however, as the Cajuns hung on for the one-run triumph, and the doubleheader sweep.
Louisiana, who outhit ULM, 8-7, was led at the plate by Hayden and Craighton, who both collected two hits, while Hayden homered and drove in two runs.
Alyssa Denham (15-2) picked up the win for the Cajuns, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits over 5 innings in the circle.
Alex Stewart pitched the final two innings, recording her first save of the year.
Sydney Wader (1-2) was hit with the loss for the Warhawks, giving up 3 runs, including two unearned, on only one hit, in one inning of work.
With the two wins, Louisiana improved to 41-6, overall, and 22-1 in league play, while ULM dropped to 29-25, and 11-15, respectively.
The Cajuns now lead the all-time series against ULM, 104-27.
The two teams will conclude the series with a single game on Sunday at noon, in the final regular season game of the year for both teams.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 11:45 am.