LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team put the finishing touches on its most complete weekend performance thus far in Sun Belt play, and picked up its first series sweep of the season, with a 10-0 (5 inn.) win over UT Arlington on Sunday at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
Sam Landry (9-2, 1.95 ERA) yielded only one base hit and recorded 10 of the 15 outs via the strikeout. Landry posted her third double-digit strikeout performance of the season and recorded her highest output in Sun Belt play.
Stormy Kotzelnick (3-for-3, 2 doubles, HR, 3 RBI) stirred up the offense for the Ragin’ Cajuns (20-8, 7-2 Sun Belt) with an RBI double in the first inning to open the scoring, leadoff home run in the third inning and another RBI double in the fourth inning.
Adding in Sunday’s efforts, Louisiana’s pitching staff limited UT Arlington (11-14, 3-6 Sun Belt) to a single run, six base hits a .115 average and struck out 23 batters over 16 innings. The Ragin’ Cajuns offense churned 32 base hits on a .457 average and outscored the visiting Mavericks 29-1.
All three of Louisiana’s wins in the series came via the rule, starting with a 9-1 (6 inn.) on Friday followed by back-to-back 10-0 blankings in five innings.
Starting with Kotzelnick’s RBI double in the first inning, Sunday’s matchup saw the Ragin’ Cajuns score in each inning to quickly run away from the Mavericks.
A two-out RBI single from Maddie Hayden in the second inning upped the lead to 4-0 and kept the pressure on the Mavericks pitching staff.
Kotzelnick started the scoring in the final two at bats as the lead moved past run-rule territory. She hit a leadoff home run in the third inning to jumpstart a three-run inning that stretched the lead to 7-0, then doubled home the first of three runs in the fourth inning to bring the run rule into play.
Landry retired UTA’s leadoff batter in all but one of her five innings pitched. When the lone leadoff batter reached via a single in the second inning, she fired back with three consecutive strikeouts.
The weekend series marked the final Sun Belt Conference regular season meeting between Louisiana and UT Arlington, as next year the Mavericks make the move to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
NUMBERS TO KNEAUX
0: Throughout the entire series, there were no innings in which the Ragin’ Cajuns faced a deficit.
1: Louisiana picked up its first Sun Belt Conference series sweep of the 2022 season.
1: The Ragin’ Cajuns pitching staff yielded only one run to UT Arlington the entire series – a span of 16 innings. The Mavericks were shutout for the final 10-1/3 innings.
3: Number of extra base hits posted by Stormy Kotzelnick in the game (two doubles, one home run).
5: As a team the Ragin’ Cajuns tallied five extra base hits, marking the seventh straight game (overall) with multiple extra base hits.
5: With Sunday’s three-RBI effort, Stormy Kotzelnick pulled into a tie with Sophie Piskos for the team lead with five RBI in the weekend series with UT Arlington.
6: Louisiana's last six wins have all come via the run rule.
7: Stormy Kotzelnick posted her seventh multiple-RBI game of the season and increased her season RBI total to a team-leading 23 RBI.
9: With runs scored in every inning, Louisiana’s offense has generated at least one run in nine of the last 10 trips to the plate.
10: Of the 15 outs the Ragin’ Cajuns defense recorded, 10 were via a Sam Landry strikeout. It was Landry’s Sun Belt play-high total for strikeouts.
10: With five additional scoreless innings on Sunday, Sam Landry pitched 10 scoreless innings in the weekend series.
18: Adding in Sunday’s total, Sam Landry finished the UT Arlington series with 18 strikeouts.
19-0: Louisiana improved to 19-0 when scoring first in the 2022 season.
29-1: Louisiana outscored UT Arlington 29-1 in collecting the three-game series sweep.
.400: For the eighth consecutive Sun Belt Conference game, Louisiana's offense turned in a .400-plus average. The squad finished 12-for-23 (.522) at the plate on Sunday afternoon.
.425: The Ragin' Cajuns are now batting .425 in Sun Belt Conference play.
48: Through nine games in Sun Belt play the Ragin' Cajuns have posted 48 extra base hits.
61-5: Louisiana's run-scored margin over the opposition in its last six wins – all run-rule victories.
82: The offensive output increased Louisiana's total number of runs scored through the first nine games of Sun Belt play to 82 (9.1 runs scored per game).
Louisiana will seek to carry the momentum from the UTA sweep into next week’s trip to the state of Texas. The Ragin’ Cajuns are scheduled to face No. 16 Texas in a rematch on Wednesday, March 30 in Austin followed by a key Sun Belt series with Texas State in San Marcos from Friday-Sunday, April 1-3.
Wednesday’s contest with Texas is set to air on the Longhorn Network while all three games of the Texas State series are being carried on ESPN+.
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