LAFAYETTE – Sarah Hudek and Julie Rawls delivered the big hits and combined for six RBI as No. 10 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball captured a Sun Belt Conference series from Troy with an 8-0 (6 inn.) win in front of a season-high 2,173 fans on Saturday at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
For the second straight day it was Louisiana (22-3, 5-0 Sun Belt) using a critical hit in the third inning to begin the march away from Troy (18-11, 2-3 Sun Belt). This time it was Hudek stretching out a 1-0 lead with a three-run liftoff to right center.
That was plenty of cushion for Summer Ellyson who limited the Trojans to a just pair of hits over her 5-2/3 scoreless innings pitched in the circle.
Julie Rawls’ third home run in as many games brought the game to a close by the run-rule margin in the sixth inning.
Louisiana clinched its 48th consecutive Sun Belt Conference series victory, a streak which spans the past 5-1/2 seasons and dates back to March 2013.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Rawls and Hudek each posted three RBI, accounting for all but one of Louisiana’s runs driven in. With a 2-for-3 showing at the plate Rawls collected her fifth consecutive multiple-hit game.
Raina O’Neal (2-for-3, 2 runs, double) stretched her hitting streak to eight games and tied Kara Gremillion and Rawls for the team lead in runs.
Keeli Milligan turned in a season-high three base hits (3-for-3) to bring her season average back above .300.
Ellyson worked around the Trojans’ leadoff batter reaching in the first and second inning to preserve the shutout. She struck out four and faced only three over the minimum.
KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
A one-out walk and stolen base by Kara Gremillion set the stage for the Ragin’ Cajuns scoring in the first inning (Rawls RBI single) and taking an early lead on Troy once again.
Kourtney Gremillion snagged a line drive in the second inning to prevent extra bases and double off a Trojans runner to end the inning.
Hudek came through in the clutch with her home run in the third inning. It followed a two-out walk by Rawls and an O’Neal single and prevented Troy from keeping the deficit at a single run.
After stranding the bases loaded in the fourth inning, the Ragin’ Cajuns pushed through in the fifth inning. A sacrifice fly by Kourtney Gremillion and a Trojans miscue, which upped the lead to 6-0, put Louisiana in position to end the game early on Rawls’ homer in the sixth inning.
During her streak of five consecutive multiple-hit games, Julie Rawls is batting 10-for-13 (.769) with three home runs and 10 RBI.
Since March 1, Julie Rawls has raised her batting average from .351 to her present .474 figure. During the stretch she is batting 14-for-20 (.700) with four doubles, three homers and 16 RBI.
For the sixth consecutive start, Summer Ellyson held the opposition to one earned run or less. She’s yielded only two runs total this week over 23-2/3 innings pitched.
For the week, Summer Ellyson has claimed four victories, limited foes to 13 hits and struck out 40 in 23-2/3 innings pitched.
Raina O’Neal’s current eight-game hitting streak is the longest by a Ragin’ Cajun in 2019.
Louisiana’s offense generated multiple home runs for the third consecutive game and fifth time in the past seven dating back to the Texas State series opener. The Ragin’ Cajuns have hit 32 home runs through 25 games (hit 23 in 57 games last season).
No. 10 Louisiana and Troy wrap up the weekend series on Sunday with first pitch set for Noon. The contest can be heard on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and viewed online at RaginCajuns.com/Watch.
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SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE
• Season tickets, beginning at $100, are available online at RaginCajuns.com using Account Manager, by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2170 or by visiting the ticket office in person Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and extended hours during Ragin’ Cajuns basketball events.
• Fans who purchase season tickets receive priority access for any potential NCAA postseason games held at Lamson Park.
• For information on premium seating and parking at Lamson Park, contact the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation (RCAF) at (337) 851-2903. General admission parking at Cajun Field will be free for all games during the 2019 season
COURTSEY OF RAGIN CAJUNS ATHLETICS