It’s a loaded question in so many ways.
Was the No. 8-ranked UL Ragin’ Cajuns only playing one game in Monroe this past weekend a good or bad thing?
All anyone at UL coach Gerry Glasco’s weekly press luncheon needed to do was hear the tone in his voice or see the look on his face when discussing the subject to know how he felt about it.
With that said, even Glasco readily admitted there are arguments to the contrary worth considering.
Deep down, Sarah Hudek knew the day would come.
Simply put, Glasco expected to play at least one game Friday in Monroe after beating the Warhawks 3-0 Thursday.
He didn’t specifically say those words, but it wasn’t difficult to detect his meaning.
“I feel very strongly that anything I do, I want to do it well,” Glasco said. “Anything we do as a team, we want to do it well. And as part of the Sun Belt Conference, anything we do as a conference, we want to do it very well.
“We want our sport to grow, we want our fan base to grow and we want the fans of our sport to grow. I’m very passionate that if people are driving eight or 10 hours to watch a game and they rent a hotel, I feel strongly that they should be able to see a softball game.”
The two teams were on the field, the 30-minute radio pregame show had begun when news began to circulate that a decision had been made to postpone Friday’s doubleheader. A noon Saturday doubleheader was scheduled, which few to no one expected to be played because of a bad weather forecast.
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…
“I think we should always do the best we can do in everything we do in our lives, and I think our programs and our conference should expect the same,” he said.
Making the decision even tougher for Glasco to swallow was ULM’s baseball team played a home doubleheader against UTA on Friday.
In his mind, softball should have played “if the baseball team is a thousand feet away and played two games that day on a much bigger area, bigger field.”
The reason given for not playing was the poor outfield conditions. Glasco’s contention is the infield both teams played on Thursday night is in worse shape than the rain-soaked outfield.
“The infield was really brutal for the runners to run on,” Glasco said. “It was a very dangerous infield for the runners to run on, I think.”
But as simple as the issue is for Glasco, there are plenty of gray areas for others.
Certainly some UL fans were elated to avoid two games against a No. 232 RPI team like ULM.
“For RPI, I think it was a really good thing,” Glasco said. “We’re playing No. 232 in RPI last week, which is not at all what you’d like to see for your last weekend of the regular season. So in that sense, it got us out of playing two more games against a 232 RPI team.”
On the other hand, those pulling for UL not to host a regional and be a No. 2 seed elsewhere might have preferred lowering the RPI in the big picture.
Then there’s the issue of inactivity. With no mid-week games over the final two weeks of the regular season, that means only one game in 10 days prior to opening the Sun Belt Conference tournament in San Marcos, Texas on Thursday.
“Obviously it’s not an ideal situation to play one game in 10 days before the conference tournament and the playoffs begin, but it is what it is,” Glasco said. “At this point, what’s important is that we focus and regroup. I’ve said all year, they’ve got a lot of talent, an extremely talented ball club. I’m hoping that talent level will allow them to overcome a less-than-desirable last two or three weeks of the season.”
There are more specific preparation issues as well. For example, Glasco still isn’t 100 percent settled on his postseason second baseman, if that ever happens.
The three games in Monroe were intended to test sophomore Jolie Redeaux.
“My plan was to start Jo-Jo three games in a row and really get a look at her,” Glasco said. “I don’t think it’s fair to judge her on one game and three at-bats. I needed to see something there. I also thought it would be good for Casidy (Chaumont) to breathe and watch for three games. Then we go back to her in the conference tournament, she’d have a different mindset.”
The other potential benefit for UL in cancelling the two games is more rest for ace pitcher Summer Ellyson.
At times during their year and a half together, it’s probably felt like a tug-of-war for both of them.
“Summer?” he said. “You could make an argument that it was good for her to have a weekend where she could rest. You could also make an argument that it broke her rhythm and broke the tempo we had set when we had prepared for three games.”
Glasco also has such issues as Ellyson potentially losing out on two more chances to lead the nation in wins or Keeli Milligan missing out on more chances to lead the nation in stolen bases.
For some, such concerns don’t matter.
Isn’t the solution simply to play every game that can possibly be played no matter who benefits?
In effect, that’s precisely Glasco’s point … whether you fall on the side of it helping UL in the big picture or not.