The large group of UL softball alumni making the trip to Lamson Park for the weekend had already enjoyed the highlight of the visit when former Ragin’ Cajun softball coach Yvette Girouard got the field named in her honor.
But the cherry on top was the actual game played following the ceremony.
UL softball coach Gerry Glasco was browsing his team’s statistics one evening at home a few weeks ago and something just jumped out at him.
The No. 10 Cajuns took care of that part as well, cruising past the Troy Trojans 9-1 in six innings in the Sun Belt Conference home opener Friday.
“Oh yeah, I’ve been nervous all day (about ceremony),” coach Gerry Glasco said. “As a coach, you always worry about anything extra disrupting the chemistry or the tempo of the game, you know getting out of the routine.
“It was huge for us to come out and get a decisive victory against their ace. Their freshman pitcher has dominated a lot of people.”
The Cajuns (21-3, 4-0) will play game two of the weekend series against Troy (18-10, 2-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The hitting star of the contest were Julie Rawls, who is beginning to look awfully comfortable in her new No. 3 spot in the batting order. All the Northwestern State transfer did this time around was go 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and five RBIs to power UL’s attack.
So many things have taken place in Yvette Girouard’s life that she never dreamed could happen.
“Oh yes, I like (the No. 3 spot) a lot, apparently,” Rawls said. “I got to ball in the 3-hole against Nicholls in our midweek on Wednesday. I got to kind of transition into that a little bit in that game and I felt pretty comfortable and I just moved it into this one.”
Her one hit that didn’t directly produce a run came in the first when her single and back half of a double steal with Kara Gremillion led to a run on Bailey Curry’s sacrifice fly to center.
Rawls wasn’t alone, however.
Raina O’Neal also enjoyed quite an evening at the plate. In the seven spot now, O’Neal was 2-for-3 with a two-run home run to get the five-run fifth inning going.
Rawls’ three-run homer finished off that rally.
UL coach Gerry Glasco tried to lessen the load on ace right-handed pitcher Summer Ellyson over the weekend.
“I saw inside pitch (on homer),” Rawls said. “That’s my pitch, and I did what I’m supposed to do with it.
“I’m hoping to keep this feeling I have for a long time as long as the season goes on. I just have a lot of confidence right now.”
Rawls said playing in front of a large group of alumni didn’t add any nerves.
“We know they’re behind our backs, and they just want to see us do great," she said. "They built this program. They built everything around us. They have a lot of confidence in us and they just want to see us do great things like they did.”
Ironically, it was speed that ended the game early. With two outs, Keeli Milligan was hit by a pitch, stole second and then scored on a throwing error after stealing third base to force the run-rule win.
Summer Ellyson improved to 13-3 on the season, giving up a run on five hit with two walks and eight strikeouts over five innings.
Carrie Boswell pitched a perfect sixth inning to finish off UL’s work in the circle.