Louisiana Softball Sweeps Season Opening Doubleheader Against UAB
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns started out the 2022 season with a doubleheader sweep against the UAB Blazers at Lamson Park on Friday.
The 19th ranked team in the country looked impressive in two shutout victories, and they are now 2-0.
In the first game, Louisiana starting pitcher Kandra Lamb opened her season by striking out four batters in two scoreless innings.
Louisiana got two hits to start the second. With two outs, freshman outfielder Kramer Eschete recorded her first collegiate base hit: a clutch two-RBI double to give the Cajuns a 2-0 lead in the second frame.
In the third inning, Lamb gave up a leadoff double, but worked around it with her fifth strikeout, a lineout, and a groundout to keep the Blazers scoreless. She did it again in the fourth inning, recording two more strikeouts with a groundout to strand another leadoff double.
The Cajuns offense left a runner at third base to end the fourth, but Lamb came in and threw her first clean inning in the game. She sat the UAB batters down in order to give Louisiana's offense another opportunity to extend the lead. However, the Cajuns were retired in order to close the fifth.
After giving up a leadoff single to start the sixth inning, Lamb was replaced by junior pitcher Meghan Schorman. Schorman struck out the first batter she faced, and catcher Sophie Piskos threw out a runner trying to steal second, instantly shifting momentum. A groundout ended the inning without any damage.
For the second straight inning, Louisiana's batters were retired in order. However, Schorman recorded the last three outs easily to earn her first save of the season and give the Cajuns the win in their 2022 season opener. Lamb picked up the win with five shutout innings pitched, allowing four hits and striking out eight batters.
UAB got runners on base, but Lamb and Schorman were excellent in pressure situations. The Blazers were 0-9 with runners in scoring position and 0-11 with runners on base. With that type of pitching, Eschete's clutch RBI double in the second inning was all Louisiana needed to earn the season-opening victory.
The second game of the doubleheader couldn't have gone better for Louisiana. After throwing 17 strikes on 22 pitches for the save in the first game, Schorman started game two for the Cajuns. She only needed eight pitches to sit the Blazers down in order, recording a strikeout in the process.
In the bottom of the first, Piskos hit Louisiana's first home run of the 2022 season, giving the Cajuns an early 1-0 lead.
After outfielder Raina O'Neal hit a leadoff double, a fielding error put runners at the corners. The Cajuns executed a double-steal to score again. Two more fielding errors scored a third run, and outfielder Karly Heath blasted a two-run home run. Louisiana jumped out to a massive 5-0 lead in the first inning. That was the fewest amount of runs they scored in an inning during game two.
With a five run lead, Schorman came back in and worked another clean inning with two strikeouts. The Cajuns hitters continued to crush the UAB pitching staff in the second inning.
Piskos hit a RBI-double, and outfielder Samantha Graeter got her first collegiate career hit with a RBI-double to bring Piskos home. With two outs, freshman Taylor Roman recorded the team's third extra base hit of the inning with a triple to score Graeter. After Heath walked, freshman Alexa Langeliers cracked a three-run home run for Louisiana. The Cajuns blew the game open with an early 11-0 lead after two innings.
Freshman pitcher Sam Landry entered the third inning in relief of Schorman. Landry gave up a one-out single, but struck out the next two batters to keep the Blazers scoreless in her collegiate debut.
In the third inning, Louisiana loaded the bases with one out. A sacrifice fly by infielder Jourdyn Campbell brought in a run before Roman hit another home run for the Cajuns. Heath singled and Langeliers hit her second home run of the game to make it 17-0 after three.
Landry worked her first clean inning for the Cajuns, using two groundouts and another strikeout to sit the UAB batters down in order. In the bottom half of the fourth inning, Louisiana's offense didn't slow down. Five straight batters reached to start the inning, and the Cajuns once again took advantage. Langeliers capped off her monster performance with a two-out RBI double for a third consecutive extra base hit. By the time the inning was over, Louisiana had completed their third straight inning with six runs scored. They entered the fifth with an incredible 23-0 lead.
Vanessa Foreman entered the game to pitch the fifth inning for the Cajuns. Foreman threw seven pitches to retire three batters, and Louisiana finished the dominant win in mercy rule fashion.
So far, 23 runs is the most that the Cajuns have scored in a single game under head coach Gerry Glasco. Landry earned her first collegiate win with two shutout innings. Louisiana started the season 2-0 with an impressive doubleheader sweep of the UAB Blazers.
Up next, the Cajuns play another doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 12. They start with a game against North Texas at 1:00 p.m. before they play Texas Southern in a game that is currently scheduled for 3:30 p.m.