No. 16 Louisiana (5-0) vs. RV Oregon State (4-1)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
Location: Lafayette, La.
Stadium: Lamson Park
Time: 6 p.m. (CST)
Television: Cox Sports Television • Talent: Tommy Thrall, PxP; Yvette Girouard, analyst
Streaming Video: ESPN3
Radio: ESPN 1420-AM • Talent: Steve Peloquin, PxP
Live Stats: CajunStats.com
Twitter Updates: @RaginCajunsSB
Weekday Work Perk
• bring business card to Cajundome Box Office or Lamson Park and receive $4 ticket
SETTING THE SCENE
16th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball returns to Lamson Park on Thursday, Feb. 15 hosting Oregon State in a 6 p.m. single game.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (5-0) are continuing their season-opening, 15-game homestand which began last weekend with the Mardi Gras Classic.
Louisiana hit .380, swiped 17 stolen bases, had only four errors over 135 chances and saw its pitching staff limit foes to one run or less in four of five outings in going unblemished in the Mardi Gras Classic.
Thursday’s game is the first of four for the Ragin’ Cajuns against teams in the national polls. The Beavers (4-1) are receiving votes in both polls, while second-ranked Florida awaits in a series over the weekend.
Fans can hear the action on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM in the Acadiana region and worldwide on the ESPN 1420 app. The game will be broadcast on Cox Sports Television and simulcast on ESPN3 outside of the CST viewing areas.
SERIES HISTORY (Louisiana leads, 2-0)
Oregon State visits Lamson Park for the first time … first series meeting on either school’s campus … prior two meetings occurred in March 1995 and March 1999 in Fullerton, Calif., at the Cal State Fullerton-hosted PONY Invitational and KIA Klassic (now called Judi Garman Classic).
A QUICK LOOK AT THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Infield: The left side is 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, Kourtney Gremillion (Kara’s sister) covers first base while freshman Jolie Readeaux is expected to take over at second base following the season-ending injury to JUCO transfer Brittany Holland.
Outfield: Senior Kelli Martinez, a preseason All-Sun Belt selection, is patrolling left field for the second straight season. Redshirt freshman Aeriyl Mass received the majority of the starts in center field opening weekend, while freshman Casidy Chaumont and senior transfer Brittany Rodriguez (Lamar) covered right field. The group gives the Cajuns coaches options dependent upon if the lineup is geared for speed or power.
Pitchers: Senior Kylee Jo Trahan is the veteran leader of a staff that includes eight arms. Freshman Casey Dixon, sophomore Summer Ellyson and freshman Carrie Boswell are also likely candidates to receive starts in the season’s opening month. 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. Freshman Caitlin Garcia and sophomore Beth Ashley also saw time behind the plate on opening weekend. Expect a rotation at the position this season as the coaching staff seeks to lessen the load for Comeaux who started all 55 games in 2017.
CAJUNS ON THE MOVE: On the strength of a 5-0 season-opening weekend, Louisiana made a significant move in the first regular season edition of both the national polls. The Ragin’ Cajuns moved up six positions from its preseason ranking in the NFCA poll, climbing into the Top 20 at No. 16. In the ESPN/USA Softball ranking, the Ragin' Cajuns rose five spots from their preseason selection and into the Top 20 at the No. 19 slot.
TRAHAN TAKES HOME HONORS: Senior pitcher Kylee Jo Trahan was named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week following her impressive 2018 season debut. Trahan earned three of Louisiana's five victories and yielded just one run and five hits over 15 total innings pitched in the season-opening Mardi Gras Classic. The senior hurler limited foes to a .098 average and registered a 0.47 ERA.
WINNING DIFFERENT WAYS: Whether it was building an early lead, battling through a tightly contested game, recovering from an early deficit or rebounding after a lead slipped away during opening weekend, the Ragin’ Cajuns showed the ability to produce results in different circumstances.
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED: Louisiana likely has one of the youngest starting lineups in the nation. Most of opening weekend the Ragin’ Cajuns used a lineup that featured just two or three upperclassmen. The squad exited adding a few more upperclassmen to give a balance of youth (5 underclassmen) vs. experience (4 upperclassmen).
SENSATIONAL START: The Ragin’ Cajuns pitching staff showed on opening weekend it has the ability to be a strength of the team. The unit held foes to 22 hits on a .175 average and struck out 52 batters over 35 innings pitched on opening weekend. Highlights included Kylee Jo Trahan’s one-hit shutout of Big 10-foe Iowa and Summer Ellyson’s school-record 20 strikeouts for a seven-inning game vs. Evansville.
BE ON THE LOOKOUT: If the first weekend is any indication, the Ragin’ Cajuns baserunners will be moving when the opportunity presents itself. Louisiana was 17-for-20 in the stolen base department on opening weekend.
• Louisiana hit .380 in last week’s Mardi Gras Classic, led by the quartet of Beth Ashley, Alissa Dalton, Kara Gremillion and Brittany Rodriguez who each had at least seven hits.
• The pitching staff limited foes to one run or fewer in four of five games played in the Mardi Gras Classic.
• Over 42 career appearances, and 114.1 innings pitched, Kylee Jo Trahan has limited opponents just 69 base hits and a .170 average.
• Sophomore transfer Alissa Dalton exited opening weekend as the Ragin’ Cajuns hottest hitter. She closed out the Mardi Gras Classic on a 7-for-9 streak and posted five RBI over the final six innings of play.
• Louisiana showed it is willing to employ the short game to produce runs. Alissa Dalton laid down the squeeze bunt to bring home the winning run in the fifth inning of Friday’s game vs. Eastern Illinois. Then on Sunday, Lexie Comeaux dropped down the bunt to plate a run in the seventh vs. EIU which proved valuable when the Panthers rallied.
• Sisters Kara Gremillion and Kourtney Gremillion are on the playing field together 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.
• Head coach Gerry Glasco made his collegiate debut as a head coach last weekend. However, the former associate head coach at Auburn, Texas A&M and Georgia had served in the capacity before. He 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.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns are set to enjoy the comforts of Lamson Park throughout the month of February. The first outing away from the facility isn't until March 2 vs. Michigan at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.