No. 15 Louisiana (6-0) vs. No. 2 Alabama (9-0)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022
Location: Lafayette, La.
Stadium: Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park
Game Time: 6:00 p.m. (CST)
Season Stats (PDF): Louisiana | Alabama [rolltide.com]
Rosters: Louisiana [ragincajuns.com] | Alabama [rolltide.com]
Television: ESPN+ • Talent: Jeff Palermo, PxP; Yvette Girouard, analyst
Radio: ESPN Lafayette | Talent: Ian Auzenne, PxP; Bobby Neveaux, analyst
Live Coverage: Radio [ragincajuns.com] | Video [espn.com] | Stats [statb.us]
Twitter Updates: @RaginCajunsSB [twitter.com]
No. 15 Louisiana at Youngsville Mardi Gras Mambo
Dates: Friday-Sunday, Feb. 25-27, 2022
Location: Youngsville, La.
Stadium: Youngsville Sports Complex
Fri., Feb. 25 – vs. Eastern Illinois, 2:00 p.m. (CST)
Fri., Feb. 25 – vs. St. Thomas, 4:00 p.m. (CST)
Sat., Feb. 26 – vs. Portland State, 3:00 p.m. (CST)
Sat., Feb. 26 – vs. Lipscomb, 5:00 p.m. (CST)
Sun., Feb. 27 – vs. No. 2 Alabama, 11:00 a.m. (CST)
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION [youngsvillesportscomplex.com]
Season Stats (PDF): Louisiana | Eastern Illinois [static.eiupanthers.com] | St. Thomas [tommiesports.com] | Portland State [goviks.com] | Lipscomb [lipscombsports.com] | Alabama [rolltide.com]
Rosters: Louisiana [ragincajuns.com] | Eastern Illinois [eiupanthers.com] | St. Thomas [tommiesports.com] | Portland State [goviks.com] | Lipscomb [lipscombsports.com] | Alabama [rolltide.com]
Radio: ESPN Lafayette | Talent: Ian Auzenne and Steve Peloquin, PxP; Bobby Neveaux, analyst
Live Coverage: Radio [espnlafayette.com] | Stats [statbroadcast.com]
Twitter Updates: @RaginCajunsSB [twitter.com]
>> Following an eight-day break, the No. 15-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball team resumes its 2022 season hosting No. 2 Alabama in a primetime matchup at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park on Thursday, Feb. 24 before making a short trip to the Youngsville Sports Complex for the Mardi Gras Mambo Softball Tournament from Friday-Sunday, Feb. 25-27.
>> The Ragin' Cajuns, off to a 6-0 start after a sweep of Opening Weekend followed by a midweek win over Nicholls, return to the field for the first time since defeating the Colonels back on Feb. 15 at Lamson Park.
>> Thursday's meeting with No. 2 Alabama marks the first nationally ranked test for Louisiana. The two teams will play a second time on Sunday (Feb. 27) at the Youngsville Sports Complex.
>> The matchup with No. 2 Alabama closes out Louisiana's season-opening, seven-game homestand. Louisiana's pitching staff has yielded only two runs and the offense has produced 56 runs so far on the homestand.
>> The Crimson Tide is the first of a trio of nationally ranked teams visiting Lamson Park over the next three weeks. LSU visits on March 3 and Texas stops in for a doubleheader on March 16.
>> The Ragin' Cajuns are adding local flair to Youngsville's Mardi Gras Mambo Softball Tournament, being held a mere 11 miles from their home base. It's the program's first appearance in the newly organized event, which debuted in the 2020 season and is operated by the Youngsville Sports Complex.
>> No. 15 Louisiana and No. 2 Alabama are the two nationally ranked teams headlining the 10-team field at the Youngsville Sports Complex's Mardi Gras Mambo. The remainder of the tournament field includes fellow in-state teams from Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls, Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech, plus Eastern Illinois, Lipscomb, Portland State and St. Thomas.
>> The tournament opener in Youngsville provides a special moment for Louisiana head coach Gerry Glasco [ragincajuns.com] as Eastern Illinois is led by head coach Tara (Glasco) Archibald who is Glasco's eldest daughter. It's the second straight year that the father-daughter duo's teams meet on the diamond, last meeting on Feb. 23, 2021 at Lamson Park.
>> The trip to the Youngsville Mardi Gras Mambo will conclude a season-opening stretch where the Ragin' Cajuns play the entire month of February either inside or near the city limits of Lafayette.
Louisiana and Oklahoma are the only two teams currently ranked Top 5 nationally in batting average and ERA. The Ragin' Cajuns hold a .453 average and 0.40 ERA.
The Ragin' Cajuns early season dominance has included four of six wins by a run-rule margin. The offense generated at least eight runs and produced double-digit hits in each of the run-rule victories.
Louisiana's 6-0 start is a welcomed sight for head coach Gerry Glasco [ragincajuns.com] given the new-look nature of the 2022 squad. A total of 11 players made their Ragin' Cajuns debut during Opening Weekend including several members of Extra Inning Softball's highly touted No. 1-rated 2021 recruiting class.
Louisiana's pitching staff shined in its debut with first-year pitching coach Justin Robichaux [ragincajuns.com], the son of legendary Ragin' Cajuns Baseball head coach Tony Robichaux, tossing 30 scoreless innings during Opening Weekend.
Entering the week, Louisiana's pitching staff has worked 35 innings and yielded just two runs, 14 base hits, struck out 56 and issued only seven walks.
In an early indication that the "staff" approaching in the pitcher's circle is coming to fruition, Kandra Lamb [ragincajuns.com], Meghan Schorman [ragincajuns.com] and Sam Landry [ragincajuns.com] have each pitched at least 10 innings and each started twice.
Sophie Piskos [ragincajuns.com] showed signs that she's picking up right where she left off from 2021 when she finished hitting .420 onward after April 20. Piskos led the Ragin' Cajuns with a .538 average (7-for-13) during Opening Weekend while delivering two doubles, two home runs.
Taylor Roman [ragincajuns.com] won the first Sun Belt Player of the Week award after producing a team-leading three triples and eight RBI on Opening Weekend. Roman, who had four of her six hits over the weekend go for extra bases, batted .462 and slugged 1.154 in her first weekend back returning from a 2021 season-ending injury.
The Ragin' Cajuns defense has fielded near flawlessly with the only error committed over 133 chances (105 PO, 27 A, 1 E) being a catcher's interference – an impressive feat given that the unit vast majority of the unit had yet to play an inning together prior to the 2022 season.
Louisiana was preseason ranked in all four major national polls: No. 19 in Softball America, No. 22 in D1Softball and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Softball poll.
Louisiana, the two-time defending Sun Belt regular-season and tournament champion, was selected as the favorite to win the 2022 Sun Belt Conference softball title in a vote of the league's 10 head coaches.
Kandra Lamb [ragincajuns.com], Raina O'Neal [ragincajuns.com] and Sophie Piskos [ragincajuns.com] were voted onto the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Softball Preseason All-Conference Team.
Kandra Lamb [ragincajuns.com] represented Louisiana Softball on the Extra Inning Softball Elite 100 list and Sam Landry [ragincajuns.com] was named on of D1Softball's Top 75 Impact Freshman. The duo was ranked among D1Softball's Top 150 Players.
With the exception of Sophie Piskos [ragincajuns.com] at catcher, Raina O'Neal [ragincajuns.com] returning in center field and Taylor Roman [ragincajuns.com] at first base, the Ragin' Cajuns are using a new starter at every other position.
For Gerry Glasco [ragincajuns.com], his fifth season in Louisiana has a different look and feel: the team largely consists of players he recruited and went from being one of the oldest in the nation to one of the youngest. The Ragin' Cajuns went from a roster in 2021 that was predominantly sixth-year and fifth-year players to a group in 2022 that includes eight freshmen and 12 total newcomers.
Louisiana is in a transition year in the pitching circle following the departure of former All-American and two-time Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Summer Ellyson [ragincajuns.com]. After working alongside Ellyson last season to lead the Ragin' Cajuns to repeat champions in the Sun Belt, Kandra Lamb [ragincajuns.com] takes her turn as the pitching staff's leader.
NUMBERS TO KNEAUX
2: Freshman Maddie Hayden [ragincajuns.com] recorded a walk-off base hit in Louisiana's last two outings (Tulsa, Nicholls).
3: Both Stormy Kotzelnick [ragincajuns.com] and Taylor Roman [ragincajuns.com] have posted three (3) triples in only five games played.
5: The five consecutive shutouts tossed by the pitching staff to start the season is a new school record (previous was four in 2019, 2015, 2010, 1995).
6: Sophie Piskos' [ragincajuns.com] hitting streak to start the season – she's the only Ragin' Cajun to get a hit in all six games.
9: Freshman Alexa Langeliers [ragincajuns.com] sports a team-leading nine base hits (includes a team-best three home runs).
10: The Ragin' Cajuns have generated 10 or more hits in three straight games and in four of the six played overall.
16/11: The Ragin' Cajuns offense has drawn more walks (16) than they have struck out (11).
24: Louisiana produced 24 two-out RBI in its five-game march through Opening Weekend, sparked by a .522 average (24-for-46) hitting with two outs.
30-2/3: Louisiana's pitching staff started the 2022 season with 30-2/3 consecutive scoreless innings pitched.
37: Louisiana is scheduled to play 37 games this season within the state of Louisiana's borders.
.453: Batting average for the Ragin' Cajuns offense after the season's first six games.
51: Career extra base hits total for Raina O'Neal [ragincajuns.com] (includes 27 home runs), who has hit .300-plus and slugged .500-plus all three previous seasons with Louisiana.
56-2: Louisiana's run-scored differential over the opposition six games into the 2022 season.
123: Consecutive editions of the Top 25 polls that Louisiana has appeared in – a streak which dates back to April 2013.
During the 2021 season, the Ragin' Cajuns reached the 40-win mark for the 22nd consecutive completed season, closing out the regular season winning 25 of the final 29 games, and advanced to Championship Sunday of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. Louisiana repeated as Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament champions highlighted by an 11-1 record, regular season and tournament combined, against the league's other three NCAA Tournament participants (Texas State, Troy and South Alabama).
Moving forward into the 2022 season, Louisiana is armed with the nation's No. 1-ranked recruiting class of the 2021 recruits by Extra Inning Softball including the No. 4-rated recruit in pitcher Sam Landry [ragincajuns.com] and No. 15-rated recruit in outfielder Maddie Hayden [ragincajuns.com], has first team All-Sun Belt performer Kandra Lamb [ragincajuns.com] back in the circle seeking to pick up where Summer Ellyson [ragincajuns.com] left off, and welcomes back Raina O'Neal [ragincajuns.com] and Taylor Roman [ragincajuns.com] and their power bats back to the lineup.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Infield: Ready to be Louisiana's next primary catcher, Sophie Piskos [ragincajuns.com] is back with her infectious energy and enthusiasm and is ready to build upon last season's strong finish (hit .429 from April 20 onward). Back from injury, Taylor Roman [ragincajuns.com] has made a strong case for covering the first base bag after turning in three triples, a home run and eight RBI on Opening Weekend. Power 5 transfers Ari Quiñones (Washington) and Jourdyn Campbell [ragincajuns.com] (Texas A&M) appear to be the front runners at second base and third base, respectively. At shortstop, freshman Alexa Langeliers [ragincajuns.com] was the Opening Day starter and was there the entire weekend due to an impressive.429 showing at the plate which included a pair of home runs vs. UAB. Melissa Mayeux [ragincajuns.com] and Stormy Kotzelnick [ragincajuns.com] are expected to rotate around the infield at the other three positions.
Outfield: The Ragin' Cajuns have their "rock" back in center field in Raina O'Neal [ragincajuns.com]. O'Neal, who missed the final three months of the 2021 season due to injury, provides a tremendous boost defensively and offensively (has hit .300-plus and slugged .500-plus all three previous seasons with Louisiana). Senior Jenna Kean [ragincajuns.com] has had an exceptional fall and preseason practice period, potentially shoring up a spot in right field - and will be the team's primary speed option in the stolen base department. Freshmen Kramer Eschete [ragincajuns.com] and Maddie Hayden [ragincajuns.com] could be the newcomers who join the patrol in the outfield, serving as options in right field and left field.
Pitchers: The coaches expect a true "pitching staff" in the circle to be the norm throughout the season. Kandra Lamb [ragincajuns.com], who pitched a three-hit shutout of LSU in her final start of the 2021 season, is ready to take her turn as the leader. Kentucky-transfer Meghan Schorman [ragincajuns.com] and freshman Sam Landry [ragincajuns.com] are expected to round out the rotation of "starters" with Lamb. Schorman was off to a 7-1 start with a 1.30 ERA before the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020, while Landry was the No. 4-rated recruit by Extra Inning Softball and shined in last summer's Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) High School Senior All-American Game. Vanessa Foreman [ragincajuns.com] and Karly Heath [ragincajuns.com] should play a role in relief assignments to further deepen the staff approach.
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