The NCAA softball regional brackets will be announced 8 p.m. Sunday.
For UL coach Gerry Glasco’s sake, hopefully those five days just fly by.
He needs it.
The last month has dragged along far too slowly for him.
The No. 7 UL Ragin’ Cajuns softball program placed a league-high nine individuals on the All-Sun Belt Conference team and nearly posted a clea…
“It’s been a long season in a few ways and a very short season in other ways,” said Glasco, whose No. 7-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns prepare for Thursday’s first game in the Sun Belt tournament in San Marcos, Texas.
“I’m think I’m tired. I find myself a little more edgy than normal. I think it’s a combination of a whole lot of things. The season has worn on me a little bit. It’s worn on me personally and from a competitive standpoint and the uncertainty.”
In addition to his unthinkable personal challenges since the tragic death of his daughter in late January, Glasco has been trying to figure out every way possible to keep his Cajuns challenged against an overmatched schedule for the majority of the second half of the season.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty going into postseason,” Glasco said. “I’m trying to stay calm and just do what I can — control the 'controlables.' But yes, it does worry me a little bit going on, wondering how fast we can find our best selves in the postseason.”
Truthfully, Glasco is ecstatic at the probability of not having to get his team motivated to play any more teams with RPIs above 200, or try to rationalize what it means if it only beats that team 3-0.
It’s a loaded question in so many ways.
“We’re going to want to compete,” Glasco said. “We’ve got to really shift gears now. The competition is going to get a lot better in a hurry. I look forward to playing those kind of teams again.”
Unlike in some seasons, No. 1 UL just happened to play No. 2 Troy and No. 4 Texas State in its first two league series of the season. No. 3 UTA came midway through the league schedule.
“We’d like to start out with weaker teams first and better teams last,” Glasco said.
It’s just much easier to motivate and analyze that way. No matter how many good players you have and how hard you work at practice, there’s less concern that you and your team are getting lulled into a false sense of security that way.
Naturally, speculation is running rampant these days.
Deep down, Sarah Hudek knew the day would come.
Some are more convinced UL is headed back to Baton Rouge next weekend. Others are sticking to such midseason predictions of being sent to an Oxford, Mississippi, regional, if it even exists.
All anyone knows for sure at this point is the Cajuns are 47-4 and have an RPI of 18.
Is that good enough to get a regional host nod due to the eye test? Is it even a good idea for the Cajuns to host?
Fortunately for Glasco’s nerves, that’s one area he’s accepted as being out of his hands.
“That’s where the committee will have to decide,” Glasco said. “I think the RPI can be very effective and very accurate and I think RPI can be very ineffective and very inaccurate. If you look at RPI, we’re the same RPI this year as we had last year, and anybody’s whose watched this ball club knows there’s just far, far more talent in our dugout and on our ball club this year.
UL coach Gerry Glasco doesn’t want or expect any Ragin’ Cajuns softball fan to lose a shred of passion for this softball program or its pursui…
“It’s not the same ball club. It’s a much improved ball club, a much better ball club. But the RPI doesn’t reflect that. The RPI reflect what your opponents and what you opponents’ opponents do. It doesn’t solely reflect what your ball club does.”
Sunday at 8 p.m. should be an incredible tonic for what ails Glasco these days.
His team will have its marching orders. No more speculation. No more debating over RPIs. No more extra motivation.
That should be squarely in Glasco’s wheelhouse.
For UL senior pitcher Alison Deville, Sunday’s scheduled start on Senior Day at Lamson Park is a dream come true a decade in the making.
Sun Belt softball tournament schedule
(All Games at Texas State, San Marcos, Texas)
Wednesday, May 8
Game 1 – No. 7 Ga. Southern vs. No. 6 Coastal Carolina, 10 a.m.
Game 2 – No. 8 ULM vs. No. 5 App. State, 12:30 p.m.
Game 3 – Game 1 Winner vs. No. 3 UTA, 3 p.m.
Game 4 – Game 2 Winner vs. No. 4 Texas State, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 9
Game 5 – Game 3 Winner vs. No. 2 Troy, 10 a.m
Game 6 – Game 4 Winner vs. No. 1 UL, 12:30 p.m.
Game 7 – Game 4 vs. Game 5 Losers, 3 p.m.
Game 8 – Game 3 vs. Game 6 Losers, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, May 10
Game 9 – Game 5 vs. Game 6 Winners, 11 a.m.
Game 10 – Game 7 vs. Game 8 Winners, 2 p.m.
Game 11 – Game 9 Loser vs. Game 10 Winner, 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
Game 12 - Finals, 1 p.m.
(All games on ESPN-Plus)