LAFAYETTE — Louisiana-Lafayette softball coach Michael Lotief appeared surprised at the toughness Georgia Southern showed Monday night at Lamson Park.
“They don’t look like a six-win team,” Lotief said. “There is no way they played like that and only have six wins. We bring out the best in teams.”
The Eagles held the Cajuns to a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning before the bats came alive. Shellie Landry hit a two-run home run in the fourth and Kelsey Vincent hit a two-run home run in the sixth as the Cajuns pulled away for the 8-2 win.
Jordan Wallace picked up her 10th win of the season striking out five batters in 4.1 innings. Her third strikeout of the game came in the third inning against Breanna McLendon, which was Wallace’s 800th career strikeout. Wallace became the fifth pitcher in school history to achieve that feat.
“That is a good number,” Lotief said. “To get to that number, you have to be consistent and she has been consistent. People talk about her dip last year, but she still has dominant stuff. That is something that kid is going to look back on and be impressed about.”
Lotief said he thought Wallace got in her own head in the fifth inning and began to struggle. After Wallace surrendered two walks in the fifth, Lotief inserted Christina Hamilton to close out the game.
Hamilton gave up a single and then a two-RBI double to Georgia Southern’s Emily Southern, which cut the Cajuns’ lead to 4-2.
After that, Hamilton was lights out, allowing no more hits and striking out three.
“Jordan pitched well, and her stuff was nasty,” Lotief said. “When she gets in her own head, we aren’t going to let it spiral. Hamilton came into a tough situation and she didn’t have it early. (Georgia Southern) gave her a rude welcoming, but she regroups and steadied the ship. She did a great job.”
The Cajuns loaded the bases in their half of the fifth with no outs. The Cajuns had popped out for the entire game, but they couldn’t hit the ball out of the infield with the bases loaded. They hit into three straight fielder’s choices and scored only one run to make it 5-2.
“We hit pop-ups the whole game, and when we get bases loaded, we hit ground balls,” Lotief sad. “That is what makes your hair gray, but we put too much pressure on ourselves. Those kids want to do good so bad. They tense up. In those moments, you have to relax and just take a shot.”
The Cajuns have a doubleheader against Georgia Southern Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.