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Batter Up: Cajuns Open 2018

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PRESS RELEASE

No. 22 Louisiana (0-0) hosts Mardi Gras Classic
Dates: Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 8-11, 2018
Location: Lafayette, La.
Stadium: Lamson Park
Louisiana's Schedule:
      Feb. 8 – Samford, 5 p.m. (CST)
      Feb. 9 – Eastern Illinois, 4:30 p.m. (CST)
      Feb. 9 – Evansville, 7 p.m. (CST)
      Feb. 10 – Eastern Illinois, 2 p.m. (CST)
      Feb. 10 – Iowa, 4:30 p.m. (CST)
      Feb. 11 – Illinois-Chicago, 12:30 p.m. (CST)
 
MEDIA INFORMATION
Tournament Central
Streaming VideoRagin' Cajuns Digital Network
RadioESPN 1420-AM
Live StatsCajunStats.com
Twitter Updates@RaginCajunsSB


WEEKEND PROMOTIONS
Thursday – Weekday Work Perk
• bring business card to Cajundome or Lamson Park and received $4 ticket
Friday – Friday Family Day
• purchase 4 tickets to one game, get all 4 for $4 each
Saturday – Mardi Gras at Lamson Park
• costume contest, mardi gras beads, king cake and more
Sunday – Daddy-Daughter Day
• free popcorn to first 50 daddy-daughter combos
• opportunity to stand on the field for national anthem and spend time together on the field postgame


SETTING THE SCENE
22nd-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball begins the 2018 season hosting the Mardi Gras Classic at Lamson Park from Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 8-11. The Ragin' Cajuns are scheduled to play six games over the four-day event.
 
Louisiana and Samford kick off the tournament in a 5 p.m. contest on Thursday, Feb. 8. Joining the Ragin' Cajuns and Bulldogs for the Mardi Gras Classic is Eastern Illinois, Evansville, Illinois-Chicago and Iowa.
 
Over the weekend, the Ragin' Cajuns are starting their first season under the leadership of head coach Gerry Glasco, formerly the associate head coach at Auburn, Texas A&M and Georgia. The squad is also starting a season-opening, 15-game homestand at Lamson Park that runs through Feb. 25.


SERIES HISTORIES
Samford (Louisiana leads, 11-0): Of the 11 prior matchups, eight were held at Lamson Park … First meeting at Lamson Park since a matchup in the Janette Spell Memorial back on March 25, 2001 … Ragin' Cajuns claimed last series matchup when Kylee Jo Trahan tossed a one-hit shutout at the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores opening weekend of the 2016 season.
 
Eastern Illinois (Louisiana leads, 6-0): First matchup since the two programs had back-to-back meetings to conclude the 2015 Louisiana Classics at Lamson Park.
 
Evansville (Louisiana leads, 3-0): Ragin' Cajuns and Aces last met during the 1994 season in a March doubleheader at Lamson Park.
 
Iowa (Louisiana leads, 4-2): All but one of the series meeting has taken place on a neutral field … Hawkeyes' visit for the 2015 Ragin' Cajuns Invitational at Lamson Park marked the first on-campus matchup … Teams will have a rematch this season on March 3 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
 
Illinois-Chicago (First Meeting): Sunday's Mardi Gras Classic finale will mark the first-ever meeting between the Ragin' Cajuns and Flames.


A QUICK LOOK AT THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Infield: The left side will be anchored by veteran third baseman Kara Gremillion and sophomore transfer Alissa Dalton (Oklahoma) at shortstop, both preseason All-Sun Belt selections. On the right side, freshman Jolie Readeaux and junior college transfer Brittany Holland are expected to see time at second base. Kourtney Gremillion is the leading candidate for first base.
 
Outfield: Senior Kelli Martinez, a preseason All-Sun Belt selection, is back to patrol in left field. Beth AshleyCasidy ChaumontAeriyl Mass and Brittany Rodriguez combine to give the Cajuns options in center and right field, depending if the lineup is geared for speed or power.
 
PitchersKylee Jo Trahan is the veteran leader of a staff that includes eight arms. Freshman Casey Dixon, sophomore Summer Ellyson and freshman Carrie Boswell are likely candidates to receive starts on opening weekend. Junior Alison Deville gives the Cajuns a left-handed option out of the bullpen.
 
Catchers: Returning starter and preseason All-Sun Belt choice Lexie Comeaux leads the group. Comeaux, who started all 55 games a year agowill have some of the load taken off of her shoulders. Freshman Caitlin Garcia is expected to platoon with Comeaux.


QUICK HITS
• The 2018 season marks the 38th season in Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball history.
• The season-opening, 15-game homestand keeps the Ragin' Cajuns at Lamson Park the entire first month of the season. The first road outing isn't until March 2 vs. Michigan at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
• Louisiana was preseason ranked in both major national polls, listed at No. 22 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and No. 24 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
• Louisiana is preseason ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll for the 15th straight season (2004-18). The Ragin' Cajuns have now been ranked in every preseason version of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, which debuted in 2006.
• Head coach Gerry Glasco makes his collegiate debut as a head coach, but he's served in the capacity before. Glasco was recently the head coach of the Scrap Yard Dawgs franchise in the NPF in summer 2017 and served in the position at the travel ball and high school level when he launched his softball coaching career in the early 2000s.
• The Ragin' Cajuns coaching staff includes Joe Guthrie (assisted Glasco in 2017 Scrap Yard Dawgs NPF title run) and NFCA All-American pitchers Ellen Renfroe Reed and Courtnay Foster. Guthrie coordinates the team's defense while Renfroe Reed and Foster team up to tutor the squad's pitching staff.
• Sisters Kara Gremillion and Kourtney Gremillion have the opportunity to play together on the same field for the first time since their prep days at St. Amant High School. Spring 2015 was the last time the sister duo was on the softball diamond at the same time. Kara debuted with the Ragin' Cajuns in 2016 and Kourtney arrived in 2017, but redshirted.
• Louisiana's lineup is likely to be one of the youngest in Division I softball this season. Of the projected nine starters, at least six are underclassmen.

UP NEXT
No. 22 Louisiana faces Oregon State in a midweek single game set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, then faces No. 2 Florida in a three-game weekend series that opens with a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17 and concludes with a 1 p.m. single game on Sunday, Feb. 18.

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