UL Softball Wins Season Openers
The 11th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team opened up their 2017 regular season schedule in fine fashion on Friday, winning their first two games in the 31st Louisiana Classics at Lamson Park.
Louisiana won their season opener, defeating the DePaul Blue Demons, 9-1, before upending the Iowa St. Cyclones, 9-1, in their second game of the day.
The two wins improved UL's record in the Louisiana Classics, which dates back to 1987, to an amazing 119-14-1, while the opening games win over DePaul improved Louisiana's all-time record in season openers to 34-3.
In the opener, Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, scoring two runs in the top half of the second inning, when freshman Beth Ashley homered in her first collegiate at-bat, a 2-run shot, giving them a quick 2-0 lead.
The Cajuns added another run in the top of the third inning, when Hayley Hayden doubled home Kara Gremillion, making it 3-0.
DePaul scored their only run, an unearned run, in the bottom half of the 5th, before UL used 5 walks and an Aleah Craighton to plate 6 runs in the 6th inning, as they went on to the 9-1 mercy-rule triumph.
Alex Stewart (1-0) recorded the win in the circle, allowing only one hit and one walk, while striking out 4 in five innings of work.
Craighton led the way at the plate, going 1-for-2, to go along with two walks, a run scored, a triple, and three runs batted in.
Kayla Landwehrmier (0-1) suffered the loss for the Blue Demons, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits in 4 innings in the circle.
In their second game of the day, the Cajuns scored first on Iowa St. plating an unearned run in the top half of the third inning, before the Cyclones answered with an unearned run of their own, to make it 1-1.
The Cajuns regained the lead in the top half of the fourth inning, when Hayden drew a bases loaded walk, one of five free passes in the frame, to take a 2-1 advantage.
Louisiana put the game away in the top half of the 6th inning, scoring two runs, with the highlight of the frame being a two-run homer off the bat of Craighton, as they extended their lead to 5-1, an advantage they would not relinquish.
The Cajuns ended the scoring with four runs, on with two outs in the top of the 7th inning, to make it 9-1, which is how the contest ended.
Craighton paced UL, who outhit Iowa St., 8-3, at the plate, going 1-for-2, including two walks, a homer, and two runs batted in.
Freshman Alyssa Denham (1-0) picked up her first career victory in the circle for Louisiana, allowing only one hit and one unearned run in six innings of work.
Savannah Sanders (0-1) suffered the loss for Iowa St, allowing eight hits, to go along with nine runs, only three earned, while walking 9 and striking out 8.
Louisiana will play twice more on Saturday, facing DePaul for a second time at 2 o'clock, before taking on Ball St. at 4:30 pm.
You can hear both games on ESPN 1420 and espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 1:45 pm.