LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette softball team played two games Saturday.
Two more shutouts.
Despite not giving up a run in either game, the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 20-0 win over Mississippi Valley State and the 3-0 win over Idaho State were about as different outcomes as possible.
Against Idaho State, sophomore Alex Stewart found herself with runners on and in tight spots in just about every inning. She struck out four, picked up her fourth win and said this game was one for her “confidence résumé.”
“It is good that we could experience this early on in the season,” Stewart said. “I’m taking this as a good experience where I didn’t have my best stuff, but I was able to get through it. I’m treating it as a positive.”
Stewart said she relied on one pitch too much — the changeup — and got herself into trouble. Cajuns coach Michael Lotief agreed, saying mixing pitches up is the only way to succeed at the college level.
“Alex showed some composure, but the reason why she got into trouble is because she relied on one pitch too often,” Lotief said. “You have to stay with your mix. Even in tight situations, you have to keep mixing. She’ll learn. I thought she did a good job.”
After now making her fourth start, Stewart said she’s had a little heavier of a role than she had originally anticipated, but she said she is starting to settle in and get more comfortable in that role.
“I’ve gotten used to all the fans and the environment,” Stewart said. “That isn’t my biggest hang up anymore. Now I can think more about the complexity of my pitches. It’s more about developing myself as a pitcher. I know coach Mike has a plan for all of us and we have a good staff full of depth. I am just glad to be a part of it.”
After five innings, Lotief brought in Jordan Wallace, who was coming off a 16-strikeout, no hitter last night against Mississippi Valley State.
Wallace pitched the sixth and seventh innings, striking out five of the six batters she faced.
Lotief acknowledged Wallace is pitching at a high level right now, but also said she is not a robot.
“That’s my girl,” Lotief said of Wallace. “As they say, ‘That’s the real Jordan.’ She’s doing some very good things right now, but she’ll go out she is going to have a bad start or a bad inning eventually. As long as you have more consistency than rough outings, you’ll be fine.”
In the 20-0 win over Mississippi Valley State, freshman Kylee Jo Trahan pitched all five innings, striking out 10. The Cajuns put up nine runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth inning. Lotief said Trahan being able to stay composed, even with lots of time spent in the dugout, was impressive.
“I thought Kylee did a good job and that game was a hard game to pitch,” Lotief said. “Every time she goes in the circle and feels those emotions and feels what it feels like, she’ll continue to get better. I feel we got better today.”