Mar 30, 2013 10:46 AM by UL Sports Information
After an 11-day hiatus from games, the Ragin' Cajuns softball team swept their Sun Belt Conference doubleheader with Florida International, winning game one 10-2 in six innings, and game two 9-5 at Lamson Park. The Cajuns improved to 21-11 on the season and 4-4 in SBC play.
"These kids are amazing." Coach Michael Lotief said after the sweep. "They continue to work and try to improve and get better. The game rewarded them today for their preparation and commitment. As coaches and fans you worry that the break will affect them, but it didn't."
Shellie Landry got the scoring started for the Cajuns, responding to a second inning run by FIU, with her seventh home run of the season. Landry powered the ball over the right field fence for an opposite field home run, tying the game and erasing the only lead of the day the Panthers would have.
The second inning offense continued with a walk to Samantha Walsh and a second UL home run, this time by Sara Corbello. It was a two-run shot, and her second home run of the season.
The Cajuns added two more runs in the third inning, with Sarah Draheim scoring on a passed ball, and Matte Haack coming around to score on a Linzey Cifreo sacrifice fly.
FIU would take one run back in the fourth inning, before a five-run sixth inning finished the game, enacting the eight-run mercy rule. Brianna Cherry and Sara Corbello each picked up two RBI in the sixth, driving in runs with a double and a single, respectively. Matte Haack also picked up an RBI with a bases loaded walk.
Corbello finished the first game 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI. Brianna Cherry and Leandra Maly both had two hits as well for the Cajuns for their 12th and 3rd muli-hit games this season.
Jordan Wallace went the distance for the Cajuns, tossing all six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while fanning 11 batters. It was the fourth start this season in which she racked up double-digit strikeouts and second consecutive start she has done so.
The Cajuns offensive firepower stayed lit going into game two, and the Cajuns jumped on the board quick with three first-inning runs. It was the 17th time they have scored in the first inning this season and are now 12-5 when doing so.
The runs came by way of a three run home run off the bat of Matte Haack. It was Haack's fifth home run of the season and first since March 6 in the first game at Texas.
FIU responded with one run in the third before the Cajuns added two more in their half of the inning. Sarah Draheim scored on a wild pitch and Matte Haack continued her offensively sublime day, scoring on a Samantha Walsh groundout.
The Panthers would not give up in the second game, and scored three more runs in the fifth to cut the Cajuns' lead to just one. The teams traded runs, with UL scoring one on the fifth before FIU scored another in the sixth.
"That's softball. " Coach Lotief said of the back and forth second game. "Over the years we've all been in those dogfights. These are all hard fought, back and forth games. They are wars."
The Cajuns broke the game open again in the sixth with a three run outburst. Sarah Draheim picked up an RBI with a double before Shellie Landry drove in her second and third runs of the day with a double down the right field line. She would end the inning however, getting thrown out trying to stretch the double to a triple, but extended the lead to four.
"I'm proud of their mindset and how they continue to belief in themselves and each other. The young kids are continuing to grown and mature, not only skill wise, but mentally too. They are staying locked in and understand what the game is really about."
Victoria Brown got the start in the circle for the Cajuns. It was her third consecutive start and sixth overall in 13 appearances this year. She tossed 5.0 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and zero walks, while striking out three.
Kristin Martinez tossed an inning of relief, allowing one earned run on two hits and a strikeout. Jordan Wallace would come in to close out the game, allowing two runners on base with a hit and a walk, but struck out the side and did not allow a run in a non-save situation. It was her second relief appearance of the season.
The two teams will be back at it Saturday morning, with the series finale slated for an 11:00 A.M. first pitch. The game was originally scheduled for noon, but was bumped up to convene FIU's travel schedule. The Cajuns will then take to the road, and a six-game road trip starting on Wednesday.
They will take on the nations top-ranked team, Oklahoma on Wednesday, April 3 in a doubleheader, before traveling to #19 Tulsa for a single game on Thursday, April 4. They will resume conference play over the weekend, with three games against North Texas on Saturday and Sunday.