LAFAYETTE — When Louisiana-Lafayette softball coach Mike Lotief heard Macey Smith picked up her first career win Saturday against Rutgers, he admitted to being shocked.
“When they said first career win, that surprised me,” he said. “I didn’t know that, or else I would have given her a start a long time ago. She means so much to the team and she is so selfless and so caring about the team. There are not too many 20-year olds who can do that.”
Smith’s three-hit shutout in the Cajuns’ 8-0 win over Rutgers, combined with Kylee Jo Trahan’s perfect game in a 12-0 win over Alcorn State, gave the Cajuns a 3-0 start to the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational.
The No. 6 Cajuns (13-1) conclude a 10-game homestand and the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational on Sunday at noon against Alcorn State (4-8).
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 8, RUTGERS 0, 6 INNINGS: Lotief said it’s not everyday a pitcher with Smith’s talent accepts the role she has.
“She knows she’s not getting her way, but she comes out with a great attitude and great effort every single day,” Lotief said of Smith. “She could pitch for 90 percent of teams out there, but she takes enjoyment and pride in the team’s success. That is the kind of person you enjoy being around. It renews your faith and hope in this generation.”
Smith said she is understanding the process more than she has in her first two years with the Cajuns and said she is doing a better job of accepting her role and playing pitch by pitch.
“We emphasize playing pitch by pitch and when I come in, I try my best to do that and my girls have my back,” Smith said. “We’re all ready. We all get that when it’s our time, we are going to compete.”
Shellie Landry had a three-run home run against Rutgers in the fourth inning that opened up a 5-0 lead. Lotief said Landry, who hit her third home run of the season, is off to a great start thus far, but she’s not settling for that.
“That’s a kid who is hitting .300 and is (mad about it),” Lotief said. “That is the kind of kid you have on this team. That’s their personality. Those kids get after it.”
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 12, ALCORN STATE 0, 5 INNINGS: Trahan’s perfect game was her second no-hitter in as many outings.
Lotief said it is fun to see Trahan’s transformation in the past two games.
“We are watching Kylee get some confidence,” Lotief said. Her stuff is nasty. Now you add that to the confidence, we are going to have some fun.
“Some people might say it’s the hitters she was facing. It doesn’t matter. She was in the circle, under the bright lights and that ball was spinning. It is pretty special what she has been able to do the last two games.”
The Cajuns backed Trahan (4-1) by scoring in every inning.
Lexie Elkins hit a three-run home run in the first inning. Kara Gremillion added a solo homer in the second, and Kelsey Vincent’s two-run double later in the inning pushed the lead to 6-0.
DJ Sanders homered in the third to extend the lead to 7-0 and added a two-run single in the fourth for a 9-0 advantage. Lexie Comeaux had an RBI double, and Sarah Arceneaux added a two-run double in a three-run fifth as the Cajuns pounded out 12 hits.