LAFAYETTE — After the Louisiana-Lafayette softball team dropped the first matchup of its three-game series against Troy on Saturday, Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mike Lotief said it stirred something in his gut.
“They didn’t beat us yesterday,” he said Sunday. “We beat ourselves. That should make you want to go out there and not give anything else away. We have some fighters. I like the way they responded (Saturday), and I like the way they responded today.”
The Cajuns took game two of the doubleheader Saturday and kept that momentum going Sunday with a seven-run first inning, led by a two-run triple from Kelli Martinez. Christina Hamilton pitched back-to-back complete games for the first time all season as the Cajuns won 12-2 in five innings.
“We are going to ride whoever wants to complete,” Lotief said. “If Christina wants the ball and wants to compete, let’s go. If you’re going to go up and nibble and all that other stuff, no, thank you.”
Hamilton gave up three hits in five innings and struck out two. The Cajuns received production from the Nos. 7-9 hitters, who were 4-for-7 with five RBIs, led by Martinez going 2-for-2. She said she knows she hasn’t been consistent lately, but she realizes her speed is an asset.
“I guess sometimes I don’t realize how fast I am,” she said. “Getting the fact that you’re not a power hitter is difficult. With my speed, I feel like if I get the ball on the ground and make the fielder move more than 2 feet, I am safe.”
Lotief said he hopes the success that the bottom of the lineup had Sunday — especially Martinez — will ignite those players moving forward.
“It’s time for them to wake up,” he said. “There is no more begging people to play the game. If you’re in the lineup, let’s go. ... Everyone in the lineup should be able to contribute.”
Martinez said she knows she has the team to pick her up when her confidence may slump. She said winning the series after dropping the first game was a wake-up call for the team.
“My confidence lies with my sisters having my back,” Martinez said. “I know that there are other people in the lineup that can pick me up. Bouncing back from the loss was a team mental change. It was getting everyone involved instead of just a few people. Everyone is now involved in the game mentally.”