MONROE — The Louisiana-Lafayette softball team completed its regular season with a three-game Sun Belt Conference sweep of Louisiana-Monroe on Sunday, posting a 9-2 victory in the series finale.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (37-8, 20-3), who clinched the regular-season conference championship Saturday, received a bye into the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament, set for Wednesday through Saturday in San Marcos, Texas. The top-seeded Cajuns face No. 4 Troy, No. 6 UL-Monroe or No. 7 UT-Arlington at 2 p.m. Thursday.
On Sunday, Samantha Walsh was 4-for-4 with three runs. Kelsey Vincent (four) and Shellie Landry (three) combined for seven RBIs.
Christina Hamilton (10-2) held ULM to one run and three hits in four innings. The senior concluded her regular-season collegiate career undefeated in her final 21 Sun Belt regular-season starts.
Jordan Wallace, a fellow senior, handled the final three innings, allowing a single hit and striking out six. Her first strikeout was No. 863 of her career, moving her past Ashley Brignac for second place in school history.
The Cajuns made the Warhawks (28-20, 10-12) pay for free passes in the first inning to claim an early lead. Haley Hayden led off with a walk, and then with two outs Walsh was hit by a pitch from Melanie Coyne. Vincent doubled to bring them home and then scored on a Leandra Maly double.
ULM responded with a run in the bottom of the first on a two-out single from Faith Bohack.
The Cajuns stretched their lead in the second inning. A three-run homer by Landry, set up by a hit by pitch of Aleah Craighton and a Kelli Martinez walk, pushed the advantage to 6-1. Back-to-back two-out singles from Walsh and Vincent resulted in another run.
After a scoreless third inning, Walsh started the fourth with a solo home run that upped the lead to 8-1.
The teams traded a single run over the final three innings, the Warhawks scoring on a Wallace wild pitch in the fifth and the Cajuns netting a run on a Vincent sacrifice fly in the seventh.
The Cajuns improved to 99-27 in the all-time series with ULM.