It’s beginning to look a little more like what UL softball coach Gerry Glasco envisioned for his No. 16-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns this season.
The Cajuns made it seven straight Sun Belt Conference wins and six over this weekend with a 6-0 shutout of Georgia Southern, before holding off the Eagles 7-3 in the nightcap Monday at Lamson Park.
The win was the UL pitching staff’s fourth shutout of the five games, including the three-game sweep of South Alabama on Friday through Sunday.
"In game one, Summer Ellyson came out and pitched well and we were able to get another shutout," UL coach Gerry Glasco said. "Our defense was really good. We had one error and also had one error in the nightcap. I was clean that up. We've been able to keep the same defense six game in a row. I'm proud we've been able to do that."
By winning the second game of the Georgia Southern makeup series, the Cajuns extended their streak of consecutive Sun Belt series without a loss to 59 – dating back to 2013.
The Cajuns improved to 22-6 overall and 8-1 in league play, while Georgia Southern dropped to 7-14 and 0-5.
"I don't know how I could work any harder than I have the last eight or nine days," Glasco said. "I'm exhausted from all the work and all the thinking and all the involvement in different things, but that's my job to get them better. When we lose, it's on Gerry Glasco. It's not on anybody else, it's on me."
Senior ace Summer Ellyson continued the weekend of spectacular pitching in the circle with another 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Ellyson now hasn’t allowed an earned run in her last 28 innings.
Ellyson allowed one hit, walked one and struck out five in throwing 78 pitches.
She was relieved by Casey Dixon, who gave up no hits, one walk and struck out two to finish out the game.
Once again, the hitting performance wasn’t overly powerful with no extra-base hits, but it was effective.
Kendall Talley and Alissa Dalton led the way both at 2-for-3. Talley was one of four Cajuns to drive in a run.
UL jumped on Georgia Southern starter Kyleigh Richardson right off the bat with three runs in the first inning off RBI singles from Talley, Jade Gortarez and Melissa Mayeux.
In the fifth, Talley stole home and Dalton scored on a throwing error after a stolen base.
Ciara Bryan added an RBI single in the sixth to finish out the scoring.
Bryan played a big role in the nightcap win as well with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to help out in UL’s five-run fourth and then added a two-run home run for a 7-3 cushion in the sixth.
"I thought we could have answered quicker," Glasco said. "We were just swinging at bad pitches - swinging at pitches under and balls over. I told them right before the fourth inning the second you guys stop swinging at balls below your knees and balls above your chest, we'll put five runs up."
Gortarez led off the fourth with a solo homer, Alderink added an RBI single up the middle and Dalton finished it off with a two-run single.
"I think we're finally seeing her get comfortable," Glasco said of Gortarez. "She's scorched a ball earlier they actually caught in rightcenter. She's a very good opposite-field hitter. I think when we see her start doing that, going both ways, it's going to really make her dangerous."
Karly Heath was the starting pitcher in game two, but was pulled in the third inning for Kandra Lamb. The right-hander pitched the next 4 1/3 innings to get the win.
Lamb allowed one solo homer, walked none and struck out five throwing to freshman catcher Sophie Piskos.
"I thought Piskos did well," Glasco said. "She gave us 14 innings (behind plate) - high energy kid and great body language behind the plate. The pitchers love throwing to her. The team loves her."