Mar 17, 2014 4:54 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - After holding the defending National Champion, Oklahoma Sooners, to one run and five hits over two games, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns junior pitcher Christina Hamilton was named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week as announced by the conference office.
Hamilton became the second Cajun to earn a conference player of the week award this season, with Lexie Elkins winning player of the week in the seasons inaugural weekend.
"[Hamilton] has recommitted herself over the last year and has worked extremely hard on and off the field," head coach Michael Lotief said. "She is learning from her past experiences, and been very consistent. We could see it coming over the past month. Her repertoire changed and she developed other pitches to keep hitters off balance.
Hamilton took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of Saturday's doubleheader opener, finishing the game with a one-hit shutout to help lead the Cajuns to a 7-0 victory of the Sooners. She finished the game with six strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter, facing just three batters over the minimum, after losing the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the seventh.
The Cajuns decided to go right back to Hamilton in game two of the doubleheader and the move paid off. Despite allowing a lead off single in the first, she held the Sooners to one run on four hits, fanning four and walking one batter. Her shutout streak for the weekend ended in the sixth inning at 12.0 innings, when she allowed a leadoff double followed by an RBI single.
Hamilton finished the weekend 2-0, with a 0.50 ERA, allowing eight base runners over 14.0 innings pitched. She helped the Cajuns become the first team to take a three-game series over the Sooners since the National Championship series in 2012, when they lost to Alabama. It was the Cajuns' first three-game series win against a top-15 team since defeating Houston in the 2008 NCAA Super Regionals.
"The game rewards you for your persistence," Lotief said. "[Hamilton] has been relentless and was awarded this week. A lot of people see it as what she has done against a certain opponent but I see it as a kid who has committed herself to the process with a lot of hard work.
The Cajuns will welcome Sam Houston State to Lamson Park for a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday at 4 p.m. before traveling to Georgia State to open Sun Belt Conference play. The conference series will open with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. (EST) and finish up on Sunday with a stand-alone game at noon (EST).