ACA.ulsoftball477.032921

UL baserunner Katlyn Alderink slides across home for the Cajuns first run against South Alabama during the Cajuns' series sweep Sunday at Lamson Park.

The No. 16-ranked UL Ragin’ Cajuns completed the series shutout of South Alabama, and for once, the game wasn’t a nailbiter.

The Cajuns broke through for four runs in the fifth inning to provide a comfortable margin in a 6-0 win over the Jaguars on Sunday at Lamson Park.

Then in the unconventional nightcap, UL's bats came alive in game of the makeup series against Georgia Southern with a 9-2 win.

"Glad to get the games in," UL coach Gerry Glasco said. "I think we need the games. I feel like we're trying to develop a rhythm and get a chemistry on our ball club with so many injuries.

"I was really proud of the girls today. I thought the pitching was outstanding."

The two wins Sunday elevated UL’s record to 19-6 overall and 5-1 in Sun Belt play, while South Alabama dropped to 16-11 and 6-3.

The victory came after a pair 1-0 wins over South Alabama in the first two games of the series.

That was just the beginning of the streak talk with this win, however.

It extended UL’s overall winning streak over South Alabama to 15 games.

UL starter Summer Ellyson extended her streak with no earned runs to 22 1/3 innings, but she didn’t actually get the win. Kandra Lamb relieved her with two outs and one on in the top of the fifth with no score at the time.

"I thought Summer came out and set the tone in that game," Glasco said. "She didn't allow a run with five strikeouts and no walks. Both girls were a little bit sore today, which is to be expected, but between then, nine strikeouts and no walks. I thought that was huge."

Lamb improved to 9-2 on the season after allowing no runs on one hit with no walks and four strikeouts in 2.1 innings.

Ellyson allowed no runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in 4.2 innings.

"Any time you can do that (three shutouts), it's a credit to them and to our defense," Glasco said. "I think our defense is finally clicking. I don't know why it took me so long to come up with the idea of putting (Kaitlyn) Alderink over at third base. I think that's allowed us to settle in."

The streak many were focusing on, however, was Ciara Bryan. Bryan got hit by a pitch and delivered a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but popped out in her only official at-bat in the game to end her hitting streak at 17 games.

The hit by pitch, though, extended her season-long reach-base streak to 25 games.

Bryan ended the game on deck, hoping for one more shot to extend the streak.

During the bottom of the second, a scenario extended UL’s season-long streak of unexpected obstacles. With two outs and Alderink on first base after a hit batsman, Melissa Mayeux hit what seemed like a two-run home run for a quick 2-0 lead.

Only the baserunner was called out for leaving first base early to nullify the homer.

"I felt snake-bit in those two games (games one and two)," Glasco said. "We're the home team and it seems like we can't catch a break on our home field. Then to have that happen today. We've played all year and we haven't have one runner called out for leaving early. Here we are on our home field in that moment. It happens. You just have to keep fighting."

The Cajuns wouldn’t score until the four-run fifth. Ironically, Alderink led off with a walk and Kendall Talley really got the rally doing with a double to right.

Mayeux’s fielder’s choice ground ball got one run home, Bryan’s sacrifice fly a second one and Alissa Dalton delivered the big blow with a two-run double off the top of the wall in left for a commanding 4-0 lead.

Jade Gortarez led off the sixth with a solo blast to left and two Jaguar error chased home the sixth run later in the frame.

The big news in the second game was the team decided to pull the redshirt off freshman catcher Sophie Piskos between games due to a recurring injury to catcher Julie Rawls.

"We're going to have to rest Rawls for a few days," Glasco said. "She's going to be able to swing the bat for us, but she's going to have to come out from behind the plate for a little while. We've been debating doing that for a week and a half and it's just become obvious today that we need to do it."

"She (Piskos) is ready. She's been practicing really well. She was real hyped up tonight to get her at-bats. She can really hit. In practice, she looks good."

The power bats highlighted the win. Talley hit a two-run home run in the first, before Mayeux's two-run homer count this time in the second for a 4-0 lead.

Gortarez added an RBI single to make it 5-0 in the third and Bryan later added an RBI single for insurance.

Lamb improved to 10-2 with the win in the circle, although she did allow two solo homers in the fourth inning to keep UL's staff from a fourth straight shutout win.

Still, Lamb allowed just those two runs on eight three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.