How Many Wins Will UL’s Summer Ellyson End Up With?
How many victories will Louisiana Ragin' Cajun pitcher Summer Ellyson end up with in the 2019 college softball season?
The question is an interesting one; considering Ellyson is currently leading the nation in wins, and is having an All-American type of season.
A junior right-hander, Ellyson has 29 triumphs, which is tops in the country.
Florida's Kelly Barnhill is currently second, with 25 wins, while USC Upstate's Christina Biggerstaff ranks third, with 24 wins.
Likely, the only way that Ellyson doesn't end up leading the nation in wins would be if Louisiana goes 0-2 in regional play, something they haven't done since 2007, while Florida, with Barnhill leading the way, goes deep into the Women's College World Series.
So, barring something unforeseen, Ellyson will end the season leading the country in wins.
But how many wins would that be?
Well; it's hard to say, because it's impossible to project how deep the Cajuns will advance in the postseason, but let's give it a try.
UL has 7 games remaining in the regular season, including one against Louisiana Tech, and three against both Coastal Carolina and ULM.
Expect Ellyson to start 6 of those 7, with Alison Deville likely to get a start against Coastal Carolina, as part of senior weekend.
Now; there's no guarantee Louisiana will win all of those games, as Louisiana Tech is a good club, and Coastal Carolina is talented enough to steal a victory.
That being said, the Cajuns will be the favorite in every game, in part because of Ellyson; so it's realistic to project 6 wins for them, and for Ellyson.
Also, keep in mind; even if Deville does get a start against Coastal Carolina, Ellyson could still figure in a possible decision in relief.
But I'll stick with 6 more regular season wins for Ellyson, which would push her total up to 35.
Understand; only two pitchers in school history have recorded 35 wins in a single season. Brooke Mitchell has the school record, with an incredible 44 wins in 2004, while Melissa Coronado, who won 35 games in 2001, ranks second.
Next, since postseason stats count; let's factor those in.
For Louisiana to win the conference tournament, they would have to win three games.
Assuming Ellyson would start all three, now the win total is up to 38.
This is where things get a lot tougher to project; almost impossible, as we move onto regional play.
Last year, UL won three games in the Baton Rouge Regional, with Ellyson recording two.
If the Cajuns take another step this season, and advance to Super Regional play, Ellyson would likely get three more wins, which would put her at 41.
From there, do they get to the WCWS? To do so, she'd likely have to record two more triumphs to get them there, which would put her at 43.
Finally; if they would make it to the WCWS, Ellyson would have shot to match, and even surpass, Mitchell's school record for wins in a single season, a record that many thought was unbreakable.
That would be a perfect storm.
Is it realistic? Yes. But it's still a perfect storm.
It's also realistic that Louisiana doesn't advance out of regional play, or that another UL pitcher, such as Deville, or Carrie Boswell, who are a combined 10-0, record a win, or two.
Still, based on how good Ellyson has been this season, along with how good the Cajuns have been, along with what they have in front of them; it's hard not to project Ellyson not winning at least 38 games, and probably more along the lines of 40.
That would give Ellyson the second-most wins in a single-season in schools history, make her the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, make her an All-American (likely First-Team), and make her a legitimate candidate for the National Pitcher of the Year.
Regardless of how many wins Ellyson does end up with, she is putting together one of the best seasons in school history.