Lexie Comeaux is probably one of the more down-to-earth, big-picture players on the entire UL Ragin’ Cajuns softball team.
But she entered Sunday’s final home game of her senior season at Lamson Park with quite a delusional expectation.
“I didn’t think I was going to cry,” Comeaux confessed after UL’s 3-2 come-from-behind win over Coastal Carolina to set the program record for Sun Belt league wins at 24-0.
That thought had no chance of taking place.
“Yes, it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be,” said Comeaux, whose one-out single in the sixth led off the game-winning rally. “You don’t really know how to prepare yourself for possibly your last game at the park you’ve been playing at for the past five years. I didn’t really know what to expect.”
Comeaux joined fellow seniors Kara Gremillion, Alison Deville and newcomer Keeli Milligan in being honored during pregame ceremonies.
“It hit me pretty hard, not thinking of myself, but watching teammates that I’ve gotten the pleasure of playing along side, four years with Kara (Gremillion) and five years with Alison (Deville),” Comeaux said. “Getting so close to them. They’re literally like my sisters, and Keeli (Milligan) has gotten so close to me in such a short amount of time.”
As planned, Deville made her first collegiate start. It went well for one inning, but some miscues behind her resulted in an unearned run in the second and on came Summer Ellyson to save the day.
Either way, UL coach Gerry Glasco had no regrets.
“If we would have won without starting Alison Deville on the mound, it wouldn’t have been the right way to win,” Glasco said. “It wouldn’t have been the right thing. We did the right thing. The right thing was on senior day for her to be out there on that mound.
“She did great. Unfortunately, I think the pressure and the emotions of it, (got to teammates). We made an uncharacteristic bobble there and put her in a really bad position.”
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.
On Friday night, UL’s underclassman decorated the locker room until the midnight hour to help make the senior weekend special.
On Sunday afternoon, several of them also did their part in making the weekend a triumphant one.
After falling behind 2-0, sophomore Raina O’Neal doubled home a run and scored on sophomore Kourtney Gremillion’s single to tie it.
In the sixth, junior Alissa Dalton followed Comeaux’s lead-off single with a base hit and eventually scored on an error for the game-winning run.
“It was a tough emotional game for me and for the team,” Glasco said. “I thought we could do what we did and overcome anything that was thrown at us. I was really thinking we could be down as much as four runs if things went in a worst-case scenario and the kids would find a way to win. That’s what they’ve done all year long.”
As usual, Ellyson carried the heaviest load, throwing 5⅔ perfect innings with five strikeouts.
UL coach Gerry Glasco strives for the perfect performance for his No. 8-ranked Ragin' Cajuns.
“She really had the back of everybody today that she had to have,” Glasco said of Ellyson (now 33-4). “We talked about the game plan. She threw a no-hitter for five innings and only 50 pitches. She was ready to go eight or nine innings, if we needed it to be.
“She’s really matured as a pitcher and as a person. She can handle just about anything you throw at her right now. She’s just really special in her poise and the way she handles adversity.”
The win was the No. 8-ranked Cajuns’ 23rd in a row in upgrading their overall mark to 46-4.
“I actually wasn’t worried at all,” Comeaux said. “I knew the team was going to get it done. Everyone else might have been a little worried, but not me. I knew someone was going to do it, whether it’s me or somebody else.”
He’s had a lot of success in his collegiate coaching career, with stops at powerhouse programs at Georgia, Texas A&M and Auburn.