SAN MARCOS, Texas UL coach Gerry Glasco said after Thursday’s win over Texas State that he expected his No. 7-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns to be a little more sharp.
He was mostly accurate.
His Cajuns didn’t make any error after committing two in the first game and pitcher Summer Ellyson delivered a top-notch performance as usual.
The biggest thing is Coastal Carolina’s defense fell off dramatically with four errors to help UL capture a 5-2 win over the Chanticleers on Friday at the Bobcat Softball Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.
SAN MARCOS, Texas — It had been 10 days since his No. 7-ranked UL Ragin’ Cajuns played and the long layoff was also complicated by final exams.
“That’s where we are as a ball club right now,” Glasco said. “We’re not sharp right now. I think we’ll get better tomorrow. I thought we were better today than we were yesterday.”
With the win, the Cajuns improved to 49-4 overall and will now meet the winner of Saturday's 10 a.m. ULM-Coastal game at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference softball tournament’s championship game.
The victory was the 26th straight win for the Cajuns, which is the second-longest win streak in program history. The all-time record is 28 established in 2012. It was also the 21st true road win of season, better Oklahoma for the nation’s best total in that category.
“We’ve got a chance to win our 50th game of the season tomorrow,” Glasco said. “I would never have thought about that last May, but as the summer unfolded and we really did well in the recruiting of transfers, I knew in September we had a chance to have a really special year. But I’m not sure I would have written down 50 wins. I’m happy. We want to go hard for that and I hope we get it done.”
One day after throwing 104 pitches in the win over Texas State, Ellyson threw 102 pitches in Friday’s win. In seven innings, she allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out eight.
Coastal Carolina (38-20) scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-1 lead, but never scored again.
The NCAA softball regional brackets will be announced 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Cajuns countered the Chanticleers’ five hits with only three hits, three walks and four Coastal errors.
UL scored two runs in each the fourth and fifth innings to account for the final score.
In the first, Keeli Milligan reached on an error, advanced on a hit by pitch, stole third and scored on Raina O’Neal’s ground out.
The Cajuns grabbed the lead for good with two runs in the fourth. Julie Rawls walked and advanced when Kourtney Gremillion’s sacrifice bunt was misplayed. Alissa Dalton later drove on a pair with a single.
Sarah Hudek led off the fifth with a home run, before Milligan walked, stole second and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
These days, UL senior third baseman Kara Gremillion doesn’t even want to consider the future.
In a season of many lineup changes, Friday’s was one of the most unique yet with Dalton hitting seventh, Lexie Comeaux eighth and Hudek ninth. Ironically, all three RBIs came from the bottom third in the lineup.
Milligan got the most of an 0-for-3 day with two runs and two stolen bases to give her 59 thefts on the season.
In this new lineup, Baily Curry hit first and Casidy Chaumont second.
For UL senior pitcher Alison Deville, Sunday’s scheduled start on Senior Day at Lamson Park is a dream come true a decade in the making.
“I just wanted to see (Bailey) Curry get a couple at-bats, but I wanted to see (Casidy) Chaumont at second base more innings,” Glasco explained in his postgame interview. “That’s the only way I could out to do it.
“I just wanted to keep my defense a little more. Yesterday, I felt like we moved (defensively) a little too much and we lost a little continuity or chemistry because of that. They’re both great hitters. We just need to get them ready for the regional.”