UL Softball Weekly Review – April 10
The 19th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun softball team continued their recent dominance over the weekend, sweeping a three-game set from the Troy Trojans at Lamson Park.
Louisiana won the first game, 3-1, before capturing the second game, 11-0, and then completing the sweep with another 11-0 victory in the third game.
The Cajuns, who have now won 18-consecutive conference games, while running their Sun Belt Conference series win streak to 33, dating back to 2013, improved to 29-5, overall, and 12-0 in league play.
The first thing that comes to mind from the weekend is that Louisiana hit the ball. They outscored Troy, 25-1, while smashing 7 home runs.
The was against a fairly decent Trojans. Yes, Troy is in 9th place in the league standings, but they have lost 6 conference games by only one run, and lost 2 other games by only 2 runs. With a little bit of luck, they could easily have 7-8 conference wins.
The top part of the order produced for Louisiana, with Kara Gremillion, Hayley Hayden, and Aleah Craighton going a combined 14-for-24 with 4 homers, 14 runs scored, and 10 runs batted in.
Craighton, in particular, had a tremendous weekend, going 6-for-8, with three homers, 7 runs scored, and 6 RBI's. Can you say Player of the Week?
Gremillion, Hayden, and Craighton set the tables for the #4 and #5 hitters; DJ Sanders and Daniella Chavez, who drove home a combined 9 runs.
Sanders homered twice, including a grand slam, giving her 19 bombs on the season, a new career-high.
This line-up, when it's clicking, can be scary, and those five are a large reason why.
Corin Voinche had a solid weekend, going 3-for-8 with a homer and 4 RBI's. She's earned herself more playing time, and she's taking advantage of it.
There still needs to be more consistency, from top to bottom in the order, but the offense has shown improvement in four-consecutive weeks, and the Cajuns continue to lead the nation in runs-per-game.
Again, the Cajuns averaged about 8 runs-per-game over the weekend, which is about what they've been averaging this year. The game of softball just wasn’t designed for that much offense, so Louisiana is beating the game.
Pitching-wise, Alex Stewart continues to be impressive. She recorded two wins, while allowing one hit and one walk in 7 innings of work. Stewart is 7-0 in league play this season, and an incredible 28-1 lifetime in Sun Belt Conference action.
Alyssa Denham was also solid, picking up the win in the series opener, allowing only 4 hits and one run over 7 innings.
Stewart and Denham have just been rock solid over the past four weeks, and really the entire season.
Defensively, for the second-consecutive weekend, Louisiana didn’t make an error, and made a few nice plays. Part of the reason I think this team continues to get better is because the defense is developing consistency, being as good as it has been over any six-game stretch all season.
All in all, it was a terrific weekend. Anytime you sweep a conference series, it’s an accomplishment, especially when you have the target on your backs.
Louisiana has not only won 12-straight, but has distanced themselves from the rest of the league in the process, leading Texas St. by three games in the loss column atop the conference standings.
This team has taken big strides over the last four weeks. Now, let’s hope it continues.
On Tuesday, the Cajuns play host to Southeastern Louisiana in non-conference action at Lamson Park, before returning to league play on Friday and Saturday against Texas St. in San Marcos, Texas
If Louisiana continues to play the way they have been, it might not matter who they play.