UL Softball Weekly Review – Week 1
The 11th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team went 5-0 on opening weekend, winning all five of their games in the 2016 Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Louisiana defeated Ball St. (22-4) and UAB (15-0) on Friday, before downing Southeast Missouri St. (8-0) and Samford (1-0) on Saturday, and then wrapping up play on Sunday with an 8-2 victory over Louisiana Tech.
It was a good opening weekend for the Cajuns, who outscored the opposition, 54-6.
Will the competition get tougher this weekend, when Louisiana plays host to Oregon three times in the Louisiana Classics? Sure, but the teams UL faced in Gulf Shores were solid, if unspectacular teams.
Ball St., who the Cajuns scored 15 runs in the 3rd inning in the season opener on Friday, not only qualified for a regional last season, but won a game, upsetting Notre Dame, while UAB and Samford both reached 30 wins in 2015.
The Louisiana offense, as expected, was sensational, hitting a .410 over the weekend, including 11 home runs.
Senior Lexie Elkins led the way, going 10-for-15 (.667) with 5 homers and 14 runs batted in.
Want some more? Okay. She also walked four times and scored 8 runs.
Elkins wasn't the only UL hitter to have a good weekend however. Far from it, as Hayley Hayden (.529), Aleah Craighton (.467), Kelsey Vincent (.429), and Shellie Landry (.412) all hit over a .400, as every starter hit at least a .300 over the first five games.
I must say that I'm very impressed with freshman third baseman Kara Gremillion. I heard a lot of good things about her prior to the weekend, but watched her play for the first time, and came away believing that, in time, she's going to be another special player.
It also looks as though D.J. Sanders is going to hit with more power this season, which is to be expected, since she's now a sophomore, and that Kassidy Zeringue will put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses with her speed, and will fit nicely in the #9 spot in the batting order, acting as a second leadoff hitter.
Pitching-wise, Louisiana was equally as impressive, tossing three shutouts, and allowing only 4 earned runs in the five games.
Alex Stewart picked up three wins over the weekend, and did nothing but throw strikes, not allowing a walk over 16 innings of work.
Speaking of throwing strikes, Kylie Jo Trahan did that on Saturday night, tossing a one-hit shutout against UAB, while only walking one batter.
It was cold that night, and conditions just weren't great for hitters, but I don't care if it was 10 degrees or 110 degrees, she threw strikes, and if Trahan throws strikes, with her stuff, she's going to beat anybody.
Victoria Brown game the opening game assignment against Ball St., and in typical Victoria Brown fashion, she won. Brown is now 16-3 in her UL career.
You can't put too much emphasis on opening weekend. There's a lot of softball left, and a lot can, and will change, between now and may. But this team certainly lived up to their billing on opening weekend, and have fans counting down the days until this weekend's home openers, against Oregon and Central Arkansas, in the Louisiana Classics.