UL-Lafayette softball coach Gerry Glasco, right, talks to the infield during a game first against Florida on Feb. 17 at Lamson Park.

Advocate file photo by Brad Kemp

With its biggest series of the season so far on the line, Louisiana-Lafayette's softball team struck early and held on to beat Texas State 3-1 on Monday at Lamson Park, clinching the series between the Sun Belt Conference's top two teams.

The victory brings the No. 21 Ragin' Cajuns (28-11, 14-4 Sun Belt) nearly even with the No. 24 Bobcats (31-10, 12-2) in the conference standings with three series left for each team before the Sun Belt tournament May 9-12 at Lamson Park.

The teams had split a Sunday doubleheader, meaning Monday's game decided the series.

Alissa Dalton and Brittany Rodriguez opened the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back singles, executed a double steal and then scored, Dalton on Kara Gremillion's RBI groundout and Rodriguez on Kourtney Gremillion's sacrifice fly, for a 2-0 lead.

Lexie Comeaux added an RBI single in the third inning, scoring Kara Gremillion, who had doubled with two outs, for a 3-0 lead.

That was enough to back pitcher Summer Ellyson, who allowed a run on four hits in 6⅓ innings with five strikeouts. Kylee Jo Trahan recorded the final two outs for her third save.