ACA.ulsoftbal4l.020920

UL hitter Bailey Curry yells after hitting a double against Ball State in Friday's season opener. Curry later hit a two-run home run in the fifth against UTSA.

The first game didn’t go as planned with the No. 8-ranked UL Ragin’ Cajuns barely escaping a 3-2 scare from Ball State.

And for four innings in the nightcap, the UTSA Roadrunners were testing coach Gerry Glasco’s Cajuns as well.

But Bailey Curry finally got UL’s hitting attack on track with a two-run homer before Melissa Mayeux unloaded on a three-run, walk-off home run to end it in 8-0 run-rule fashion.

The Cajuns return to play at 2 p.m. Saturday against North Texas.

“I’m proud,” Mayeux said of her first UL homer. “I didn’t really look at it. I just felt it.”

It was the first two homers of the season for the Cajuns as a whole.

“She’s got tremendous power,” Glasco said of Mayeux. “She’s got tremendous potential. Home runs are contagious. You have to have everybody in your lineup getting the ball in the air and getting the ball out there. They’ll feed off each other.

“I don’t why, but home runs come in bunches. We just have to really be aggressive at the plate and really use our mechanics in the right way.”

Ironically, Mayeux didn’t even start the second game, but replaced Brittany Holland, who suffered a hand injury on a ground ball to third.

“At the beginning, it was a little hard, because I’m not used to playing in front of that many people, so I had to adjust to it,” Mayeux said. “So once I feel free, it’s always better.”

Friday was also the debut of senior Oregon transfer pitcher Megan Kleist. In the first game, Kleist was put into a pressure situation, escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam to close out a 3-2 win.

“It’s definitely an ‘in the moment’ thing with my past experiences, that really helped me keep my feet below me and stay in the moment,” Kleist said. “It was definitely a little bit more pressure than I would have liked to have on my first outing here.

“The crowd’s amazing, so it definitely gets you more amped up than you would like, so finding a way to control that was what I was trying to work on. It came out a little better in the second game.”

The second game went better, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out eight in five shutout innings.

“There’s definitely some stuff we need to work on coming out of today,” Kleist said. “There’s stuff that I need to work on. We can all be better. I think that’s what we’re going to sleep on tonight and come out tomorrow nice and fresh.”

After getting just six hits in the first game, UL ended up with 11 in five innings in the nightcap.

“First game nerves maybe a little bit,” Glasco said of the lineup’s struggles for much of the night. “Maybe overtrying. Whatever the reason, we just didn’t have a good rhythm at the plate and then I was really hard on them.”

Glasco said he was constantly on his hitters throughout the game. It’s a change in philosophy he plans on utilizing throughout the season.

“One thing I want to do this year is I want to make them really tough in the first half of the season. I don’t care about making them feel really good right now. I want to make them really tough. I was really all over them the whole doubleheader,” Glasco said.

“I told them that’s how we’re going to coach when we get to the World Series and that’s how we’re going to coach in the super regionals. I think that really took them back in the first game and I got them on their heels a little bit. But I told them I wasn’t going to let up and they’ll get used to it.”

Glasco said he was thrilled with both pitchers and he plans on being patient with the Taylor Roman experiment in right field.

“She’s got the skill set,” Glasco said. “I’ve got to give her time to mature and mainly get comfortable.”

Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.