LAFAYETTE – Summer Ellyson pitched perfect relief and Alissa Dalton used heads-up baserunning to score the winning for No. 8 Louisiana Softball in a 3-2 win over Coastal Carolina on Sunday which gave the 2019 senior class a win in their regular season home finale at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
Ellyson entered in the second inning and began a string of what would be 17 straight batters retired to halt the run production by the visitors.
In the bottom half of the second inning, Louisiana (46-4, 24-0 Sun Belt) drew even when Raina O’Neal provided an RBI double and Kourtney Gremillion came through with a two-out, run-scoring single.
The game became a stalemate until an infield single by O’Neal in the sixth inning loaded the bases and moved Dalton to third base. Coastal Carolina (33-18, 11-13 Sun Belt) provided the Ragin’ Cajuns with the break they needed as O’Neal’s grounder was shoved into the outfield allowing Dalton to race home and break the tie.
With the win Louisiana stretched its winning streak to 23 games and collected its eighth SBC series sweep in as many weekends. It also marked 24th Sun Belt Conference win which establishes a new school and conference mark for league triumphs, best the previous record 23 set by the 2017 team.
The contest was possibly the last one played at Lamson Park for seniors Lexie Comeaux, Alison Deville, Kara Gremillion and Keeli Milligan.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Dalton led the Ragin’ Cajuns with two runs scored, including the game-clincher, as she crossed home plate both times she reached base. She drew a leadoff walk in the second inning to put in motion Louisiana’s response to an early 2-0 deficit.
O’Neal (2-for-3, run, double, RBI) posted her second multiple-hit game of the series. Both hits led to the Ragin’ Cajuns plating a run.
Kourtney Gremillion’s RBI in the second inning pushed her season total to 30, making her the seventh Ragin’ Cajun to hit the mark this season.
Ellyson spent 5-2/3 innings in the circle and held the Chanticleers (33-18, 11-13 Sun Belt) both scoreless and hitless, did not issue a walk or hit by pitch and struck out five, doing it all in 50 pitches.
- Senior pitcher Alison Deville received the start and yielded only one earned run and two hits in 1-1/3 innings. It was Deville’s first career start.
- Summer Ellyson increased her nation-leading win total to 33. She now takes hold of third place on the school’s single-season chart and moves within two of second place (35 wins by Melissa Coronado in 2001).
- For the fourth time Summer Ellyson collected all three wins in a Sun Belt series and she increased her personal win streak to 16.
- Summer Ellyson pitched 16-1/3 innings in the weekend series and did not allow a single run to the Chanticleers, limited them to seven hits and struck out 24.
- Raina O’Neal led Louisiana with five hits in the series (5-for-9) and finished tied with Alissa Dalton for series-high honors with four runs scored.
- Raina O’Neal reached 50 hits with her performance, becoming the fourth Ragin’ Cajun to do so this season (joining Alissa Dalton, Sarah Hudek and Keeli Milligan). The hits total is her career-high (had 41 at Texas Tech in 2017) and is her first time reaching the 50-mark.
- Alissa Dalton’s single through the left side in the sixth inning increased her current hitting streak to six games. Dalton has produced at least one hit in 38 of 50 games.
- Four-year seniors Kara Gremillion and Lexie Comeaux delivered a hit in their last regular season game at Lamson Park. Gremillion reached on a bunt single in the third and Comeaux singled down the left field line in the sixth.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns 23-game win streak is the program’s longest since a 28-game run by the 2012 team and its matches a similar streak recorded by the 2013 team.
- Louisiana’s win streak is the second-longest active win streak in the nation and trails only a 35-game run by No. 1 Oklahoma.
- The sweep of Coastal Carolina marked the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 54th consecutive Sun Belt series win for Louisiana – the longest active streak in the nation.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns remained unbeaten at Lamson Park vs. Coastal Carolina and increased its all-time series lead to 8-1.
No. 8 Louisiana concludes the regular season May 2-4 in Monroe, La. with a Sun Belt Conference series at in-state foe ULM. Play begins Thursday at 6 p.m. at the ULM Softball Complex.
The 2019 Sun Belt Conference Tournament follows the series with the Warhawks. This year’s event is set for May 8-11 on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
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