LAFAYETTE — There isn’t a lot of time for the Louisiana-Lafayette softball team to enjoy its weekend series sweep of Texas-Arlington.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have a three-game series with Georgia Southern beginning Monday and culminating with a doubleheader Tuesday. Cajuns coach Michael Lotief said if anyone has excuses about such a quick turnaround for another conference series, he doesn’t have time for it.
“The schedule has been made for a long time,” Lotief said. “None of this baloney about ‘we’re tired’ or ‘quick turnaround.’ It is what it is. Get ready, and let’s go.”
The Cajuns had to schedule a rare midweek conference series for them to schedule a late-season out-of-conference series with No. 2 Oregon in late April.
Cajuns pitcher Jordan Wallace said many on the team were surprised to learn they had a conference series beginning Monday.
“I don’t think most of us even knew,” Wallace said. “It will be interesting to see if we can put ourselves in a tournament-type feel and get ready for this series.”
Wallace was brilliant Saturday against UT-Arlington as she struck out 16 batters en route to her ninth win of the season. Wallace said pitching only three innings the night before definitely aided her ability to be so dominant.
“There has been a few times (this season) where I struggled in the second day coming back,” Wallace said. “My legs were fresher. That is the main thing.”
Lotief said the Cajuns were fortunate to only need Wallace for three innings in Friday’s 18-0 rout, which allowed her a chance to be dominant Saturday. Still, Lotief said Wallace can be effective in back-to-back starts when she goes the distance.
“Her stuff was good (Saturday),” Lotief said. “When she is fresh, she can be dominant. She’s a power pitcher. I think if she had gone all five (Friday), she still could have duplicated it.”
The quick turnaround shouldn’t be an issue for the Cajuns as Lotief is known for his rigorous practice schedule, something third baseman Samantha Walsh said will come in handy Monday and Tuesday.
“Coach Mike does a good job of making sure we stay in the same routine and take everything the same way,” Walsh said. “He keeps us used to going all the time with practice and everything. We are getting live at-bats now, and we are going to get more sooner than we’re used to. It’s going to be a good thing.”
Lotief said he is just looking for a game or series where the entire team contributes. With the Cajuns’ sights set on a return trip to the Women’s College World Series, Lotief said he knows the only way they’ll get there is through consistency.
“I don’t think we played great Saturday,” Lotief said, “but we had some individual performances that were great. In order to be great, you have to get contributions from everyone 1-9. Instead of focusing on a star, we need contributions from everyone every time out. It’s hard to do, but you have to do it.”