The University of Louisiana softball team opened its 40th season with a pair of victories at the 34th Annual Louisiana Classics at Lamson Park on Friday evening. No. 8 UL defeated Ball State 3-2 in the first game and then capped it off with a 8-0 win over UTSA.
How It Happened:
In the first game, UL took an early lead in the bottom of the second inning when a double by Julie Rawls drove in Kaitlyn Alderink who got on with a one-out single.
Ball State answered in the top of the third as the Cardinals loaded the bases on a pair of singles, and strikeout that wasn’t fielded. Ball State then plated a run on a line drive by Haley Dominique but Summer Ellyson managed to strike out three hitters in the frame to give up only the one run.
Ellyson would record the win after giving up two runs on six hits while striking out 10 in six innings of work.
In the fourth, UL retook the lead by scoring two runs.
Bailey Curry led off with a double to right-center field and Alderink got her second hit of the game two batters later when her infield single scored Morgan Gray who pinch ran for Curry. Alderink would then later score on a wild pitch.
After two scoreless innings, Ball State made things interesting in the top of the seventh. Ellyson was pulled after giving up a leadoff single and replaced by former All-American Megan Kleist. The Orgeron transfer walked the first batter she faced and then gave up a single to right field which brought home a runner.
Kleist though would close out the game with a pop out and strike out to record the save as UL picked up the 3-2 win.
In the second game, UL needed some time to get going offensively as the Ragin’ Cajuns failed to plate a run in the first two innings. In the third inning, UL got on the board with a two-run single by Rawls.
That proved to more than enough run support for Kleist who pitched five innings of scoreless softball giving up only three hits while striking out eight Road Runners.
UL extended its lead in the bottom of the fifth.
Raina O’Neal led off with a double and Bailey Curry then lifted a pitch over the right field wall for the two-run home run. The Ragin’ Cajuns would proceed to load the bases and score another run on a fielder’s choice by Kourtney Gremillion.
The game ended moments later when Melissa Mayeaux hit a three-run home run over the centerfield wall. That gave UL the 8-0 mercy-rule victory.
Big Number: 19
That was the number of strikeouts the Ragin’ Cajun pitchers recorded in Friday’s two games. Ellyson posted 10 in the first game against Ball State while Kleist struck out eight in the second game to go along with a strikeout in relief in the first game.
Players of the Game: Kaitlyn Alderink & Melissa Mayeaux
Alderink stepped up in her UL debut after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. The former Texas A&M star went 2-for-3 with one run scored in the win over Ball State. Alderink then went 1-for-3 in the second game.
After going 0-for-2 in the first game, Mayeaux had a monster performance at the plate a giants UTSA. The Ragin’ Cajuns third baseman went 2-for-2 with 3 RBI highlighted by a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Next Up: UL will take on North Texas as 2 p.m. and then UTSA at 4 p.m. on Saturday to wrap up the Louisiana Classics.