On Monday Gerry Glasco met with the media for the first time this season and the Cajuns softball coach didn't shy away from the fact that Louisiana is possibly even deeper than it was a year ago.
That's important during the COVID era of college sports.
"We've had a player out here and there, but it's not been a major issue," he said. "It's something we know could pop up at any day. It's so easy right right now to lose two or three players overnight, so to speak."
The Cajuns return the majority of its core, though lose outfielder Sarah Hudek and pitcher Megan Kleist. Kleist's decision to not come back for her "bonus" season leaves the team with its biggest hole, a number two pitcher behind ace Summer Ellyson. Otherwise this Louisiana team sits two and three deep.
Glasco said he's worked out essentially two 8-player lineups (pitcher excluded) and is looking at his team as a 16-player rotation at the moment, a number he wants to trim down to 12. He says competition remains high with transfers like Ciara Bryan, Justice Milz, and Jade Gortarez pushing incumbents. Even Alissa Dalton, the team's unquestioned leader on the field, is being pushed.
"I can't say enough about how high a competitor she is, and even more impressive to me is how great a teammate she's become over the past four years. She's top of the chart right now, as far as her ability, she's great. But she's moved up to the top of the charts in terms of being a great teammate. She's embraced having Gortarez here."
Jade Gortarez is a two-time All-Pac 12 selection. She was recruited to Louisiana to replace Dalton after announcing her departure from Arizona State before the start of the 2020 season. Because of COVID, baseball and softball players were granted an extra year of eligibility overlapping Dalton and Gortarez's stay. Glasco says both will be starters but are competing to be the starting shortstop. The other will start at third base.
Louisiana begins the season February 13th against Missouri State.
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