LAFAYETTE – 15th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball came away victorious in its 2019 regular season opener, claiming a 4-0 victory over Fordham in front of 1,678 fans on Thursday at Lamson Park.
The contest, which kicked off the Ragin’ Cajuns Classic that runs through Monday, was highlighted by a dominant pitching performance from Summer Ellyson and a jolt on offense delivered with a home run swing from Raina O’Neal.
Louisiana (1-0) ushered in the second season of the Gerry Glasco era and claimed a season-opening victory for the 18th straight year.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Ellyson carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out 16 of the 25 batters faced. The junior hurler took control by striking out seven consecutive after the first two Fordham batters reached base to begin the contest.
O’Neal, making her Ragin’ Cajuns debut, all but locked up the contest when she launched a towering, two-run blast over the scoreboard in right field to extend the lead to 4-0.
Second baseman Casidy Chaumont posted a base hit in each of her first two at bats in pacing Louisiana’s eight-hit attack over the first three innings.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After Ellyson settled into a groove, the Ragin’ Cajuns used their speed to garner the game’s first tally. Alissa Dalton singled down the left field line, then later broke for second base to draw an errant throw which caromed into center field allowing to the cross home plate.
Ellyson retired Fordham (0-1) in order the next three innings and the offense erupted in the middle of those frames capped off by O’Neal’s no-doubt homer.
Julie Rawls and Bailey Curry started off the third inning with back-to-back singles and moved to second and third following Kara Gremillion’s sacrifice bunt. A Sarah Hudek grounder manufactured the first run of the frame, then O’Neal’s blast cleared the bases increasing the advantage to 4-0.
Ellyson picked up eight more strikeouts over the final four innings in closing out the Rams. She came within two outs of recording her third career no-hitter.
***Courtesy UL Athletics