LAFAYETTE — University of Louisiana at Lafayette softball coach Michael Lotief said the Ragin’ Cajuns are back to having fun after they capped off a three-game sweep of Appalachian State with a 14-0 win Sunday.
“They felt comfortable today, and they’re just back to playing softball, Lotief said. “No more thinking. They’re out there having fun and just letting it happen.”
The Cajuns hit three home runs Sunday, including a three-run homer from Shellie Landry, her third of the weekend and 13th of the season. Lotief said Landry’s recent surge in production is long overdue.
“It’s time to empty the tank for Shellie,” Lotief said. “She is strong and good, and she doesn’t need to leave anything left in the tank. That is what we are used to. She does it in practice, but to finally see it transferring in the games and to see her finish her career like that is incredible. That is a good kid who has given everything she has to this program.”
Alex Stewart picked up her third win of the weekend and took a perfect game into the fifth inning. Appalachian State’s Heather Josey broke up the perfect game bid with a single, and Lotief pulled Stewart in favor of Kylee Jo Trahan.
Trahan struggled Saturday, but pitched a flawless fifth inning Sunday, striking out two and closing out the win. Lotief said he couldn’t have scripted it any better.
“I wasn’t going to take (Stewart) out with a perfect game going,” Lotief said. “She gave up the hit, and that was time to make the change. Kylee had a chance to get in and get that bad taste out of her mouth. Now she gets a chance to rebuild the stuff she knows is in her.”
Lotief said the Cajuns are in a real good place and put little stock into needing a series like this to get over last weekend’s disappointment at Florida. Lotief said that despite that performance, he never saw the Cajuns’ resiliency waver.
“We’re in a real good place right now, and we are moving in the right direction,” Lotief said. “I’d pay $100,000 to get on a bus and drive back to Florida right now. Maybe we didn’t perform the way we wanted to, but this team never got down on one another. They stuck together, and that is what it takes.”