BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball captured two wins on Day 2 of the UAB Blazer Classic, using a fast start to its advantage in a 3-2 win over No. 8 Oklahoma State and a late-game rally for a 5-3 win over Ole Miss.
The common theme of the day was timely hitting and strong pitching from Summer Ellyson.
No. 9 Louisiana (9-3) got a leadoff home run from Kendall Talley as part of a two-run first inning against Oklahoma State (7-5), then after the Cowgirls drew even in the fourth inning the first timely hit was Julie Rawls answering with a solo home run in the bottom half of the frame.
Rawls’ homer proved to be the winning run as Ellyson blanked the Cowgirls the rest of the way in wrapping up a seven-inning effort that saw her allow just two runs, scatter five hits and strike out eight batters.
Against Ole Miss, it was the Rebels (4-9) with the fast start thanks to a pair of solo home runs in the first inning.
Louisiana trailed 3-1 through the fourth inning, then the next string of timely hits appeared during the team’s at bat in the fifth inning. Starting with a single from Melissa Mayeux, the Ragin’ Cajuns would record four consecutive one-out hits flipped the script on Ole Miss.
Talley brought home Mayeux with an RBI double, trimming the deficit to 3-2. Bailey Curry then delivered a pinch-hit single which moved Talley to third and Raina O’Neal followed with an RBI single that evened the contest at 3-all. After a pitching change, a pair of wild pitches moved the go-ahead run across for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Ellyson took over for Megan Kleist, who retired the side in order in the third and fourth inning after the Rebels scored three runs in their first two at bats, with two outs in the fifth inning and promptly shut the door. She retired the first four batters that she faced by strikeout in the 2-1/3 scoreless relief effort for the save.
The leadoff home run against Oklahoma State was the first as a Ragin’ Cajun for Kendall Talley.
With Kendall Talley picking up a home run, there are now nine different Ragin’ Cajuns who have hit at least one home run.
Julie Rawls took over the team lead in home runs, picking up her third of the season in the Oklahoma State contest.
With eight strikeouts vs. Oklahoma State, Summer Ellyson surpassed five strikeouts for the sixth time in as many starts. It marked for the fourth time she’s reached eight strikeouts.
Kendall Talley collected her team-leading third multiple-hit game with a 2-for-3 performance against Oklahoma State.
Louisiana totaled eight extra base hits on the day, gathering four in each contest. It’s the most over a two-game stretch since total nine combined between the UTSA (Feb. 8) and Lamar (Feb. 11) games.
Summer Ellyson worked 9-1/3 innings in the circle over the two games, yielding only two runs, five hits and posting 13 strikeouts.
Eight different hitters tallied at least one hit as the Ragin’ Cajuns tallied 10 hits against Ole Miss. It was the team’s fourth outing of double-digit hits this season.
With her RBI double against Ole Miss, Kendall Talley stretched her hitting streak to eight games – a string which began when she took over as leadoff hitter Feb. 11 vs. Lamar.
Louisiana concludes play in the UAB Blazer Classic at Mary Bowers Field in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, Feb. 23. The day begins with a rematch against Ole Miss at 11 a.m., followed by a matchup with the host-Blazers 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game with the Rebels.
Fans can listen to the games in the Acadiana region on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and worldwide on the ESPN 1420 app. Live stats links can be found of the softball schedule page at RaginCajuns.com, while the UAB contest will be broadcast online through Blazer Vision.
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