LAFAYETTE – Behind a grand slam and five RBI from senior Karly Heath and 4-2/3 effective innings pitched in the circle by fellow senior Kandra Lamb the No. 24-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team completed a Senior Weekend sweep on Saturday, May 6 with a 9-1 (5 inn.) win over ULM at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
Louisiana (43-13, 22-2 SBC) wraps up the regular season on a season-best, nine-game winning streak.
The regular season champions and No. 1 seeded Ragin’ Cajuns will take the momentum into next week’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament which will be played in the friendly confines of Lamson Park, with the squad starting play on Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. against either the same ULM team or Georgia State.
Lamb (8-1, 1.53 ERA), making her final weekend series start at Lamson Park, scattered five hits over the first three innings to buy time for her teammates to pull her through to victory.
The Warhawks (24-31, 7-17 SBC) had snuck in a run on a two-out bunt single in the second inning before the Ragin’ Cajuns began to get untracked in the third inning.
Cecilia Vasquez (1-for-1, HR) sparked Louisiana’s game-ending uprising in the third with her solo home run two batters into the bottom half of the frame, then later it was back-to-back, two-out RBI singles from Lauren Allred (1-for-3, run, RBI) and Heath (2-for-3, HR, 5 RBI) that started the separation and opened a 3-1 lead.
Lamb (4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 K) promptly retired the visiting Warhawks in order after being provided the lead – the first of five straight batters she retired to finish her time in the circle.
Louisiana quickly loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth as Victoria Valdez singled, Vasquez walked and Mihyia Davis collected her third hit of the day. The bases would remain loaded all the way through the Cajuns arriving to Heath’s spot in the order and she delivered her Senior Day slam to break open the game, stretching the advantage to 8-1.
After Lamb and Sam Landry combined for another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth, it was pinch hit at bats from Laney Credeur (double) and Kylei Griffin (fielder’s choice grounder) that led to an intentional walk to Davis and Taylor Roman’s grounder that brought in the closing run.
The gap-widening grand slam from Heath marked her 14th home run of the season, establishing both her new career-high total and the highest count by a hitter in the Gerry Glasco era.
Lamb stepped out of her newfound closer’s role for her first start since Opening Weekend (Feb. 11). She closed with three consecutive scoreless innings after her shutout bid was spoiled by a bunt RBI single, collecting her 37th career victory in her 110th career appearance.
Louisiana upped its all-time series lead over ULM to 118-28 and has won 31 of the last 32 matchups dating back to the 2012 season.
The Ragin’ Cajuns ended the regular season with 43 wins produced against a Top 5-rated strength of schedule. It’s the highest regular season win total since the 2019 season (47).
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana starts play in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park on Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. facing the winner of the ULM-Georgia State first round game.
All of the Ragin’ Cajuns action in the SBC Tournament can be viewed on ESPN+. Fans in the Acadiana region can also keep up with the action with Cody Junot and Bobby Neveaux on the call on 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and worldwide on the Varsity Network.
Tickets for the tournament – which begins with first round games on Wednesday, May 10 – remain available, with prices starting at just $5.
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