Things went a little too easy for the No. 15-ranked UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in demolishing two overmatched foes by a combined total of 47-0 over the past three games to get to 4-0 on the young season.
Time will tell if the Cajuns can stay undefeated or not when they host the California Bears in a 4 p.m. doubleheader Monday at Lamson Park.
After a lackluster offensive performance in UL-Lafayette's modest 4-0 win over Fordham in Thursday's season opener, the expected fireworks eru…
“Cal’s great,” UL coach Gerry Glasco said. “They’ve got a really strong athletic team. I think they look a lot like us on the field. I mean, they’re fast and they’re strong. They’re a typical Pac-12 team. They can beat you with speed or they can beat you with power. They’re going to be a great test for us on Monday night.”
Cal won its season opener 9-0 over Fordham on Saturday in the Ragin’ Cajuns Classic behind a three-hit, 10-strikeout performance from Zoe Conley.
Of course, all pitching performances so far in the tournament pale in comparison to what UL freshman hurler Kandra Lamb has done so far.
In her first two collegiate games, the Australian product threw a no-hitter in each one with a combined total of 16 strikeouts.
“Absolutely not,” Lamb said of is she knew she would conquer that feat. “When I came in here, I knew my job was to let my team do the work. To come in there with two no-hitters, I don’t actually believe it’s happened yet, but it’s good, especially when you have a team like that behind you. It definitely makes a lot of difference.”
Glasco was also surprised … sort of … by Lamb’s immediate success.
Typically, the opening weekend of a new season just can’t come quickly enough for coaches, players and fans.
“I wouldn’t have thought that, but I knew she had talent,” Glasco said. “We knew in the fall that she could be special. My intuition told me she’s going to be a good pitcher, but it’s going to take some time. We’re still going to have to make some adjustments. The good part is we know she can pitch in college.”
The other aspect of UL’s 4-0 start that has Glasco smiling is the red-hot bats. A year ago, the Cajuns only hit 23 home runs all season long. Through four games already this season that total is already at eight, not to mention 19 extra-base hits over the past three games.
Hitting one of the three in Saturday’s 21-0 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was Alissa Dalton, who finished the game 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and six RBIs. All that after a slow start over UL’s first two games.
“Coach actually pulled me aside and he was right completely,” Dalton said. “He said, ‘You’re thinking too much. You’re trying too hard. Just relax and do what you know how to do.’ I think that’s what moving me down and up does.
“The hitters that are hot need to be higher. The hitters that need to be hitting are going to be hitting. So him keeping me in there for that opportunity, I’m very grateful for, because it paid off.”
As a team, the Cajuns have four players slugging over 1.000 in the early going. Julie Rawls joined the hitting parade as well Saturday at 2-for-4 with a homer and six RBIs.
UL junior Justin Miller, who had a game-high 13 rebounds in Friday's 76-72 win over Georgia State, said the team won the game for coach Bob Marlin and his coaching staff.
“It sets a standard where we except to be,” Dalton said. “I said before the preseason we’re going to be the team that everybody has to dig and climb and claw their way to even come close to and that’s exactly what we’re doing. When one hitter isn’t on, the rest are. If one pitcher isn’t on, the rest are.”