UL Softball Completes Weekend Sweep Of South Alabama
The 20th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball concluded their first 2017 road series in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday, completing a three-game Sun Belt Conference sweep of the South Alabama Jaguars.
Louisiana, who won the first game of a scheduled doubleheader on Saturday, 8-3, before the second game was suspended due to rain, went on to win the second game, 4-2, before capturing the third game, 9-4.
The three wins gives the Cajuns 24 wins in 30 games against South Alabama since the Jaguars joined the Sun Belt Conference back in 2007, while sweeping them in a three-game set in Mobile for only the second time ever.
The triumphs also ran UL’s Sun Belt Conference win streak to 11 games, dating back to last season.
The Cajuns, who outscored South Alabama in the three games, 21-9, have now won a school and Sun Belt Conference 31-consecutive series, dating back to 2013.
Going back to when the suspended game began on Saturday, Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, scoring a run in the top half of the second inning, courtesy of a solo homer by DJ Sanders, her 14th of the season, to give them a 1-0 advantage.
The Cajuns added two more runs in the top half of the third inning, when Sanders drove home a run with a single, and Daniella Chavez also drove home a run, with a fielders choice grounder, to widen their lead to 3-0.
The rain came in the fourth inning, suspending the game, which resumed on Sunday at noon.
When the two teams got back to play on Sunday, Sanders gave Louisiana another run in the top half of the 6th inning, belting her second homer of the contest, and her 15th of the season, to make it 4-0.
The Jaguars scored the last two runs of the game, courtesy of an Abby Krzywiecki long ball in the bottom of the 6th, followed by a sacrifice-fly off the bat of Kristian Foster, scoring Megan Harris, who had tripled, in the bottom half of the 7th inning.
It was far too little, however, and far too late, as Louisiana went on to the 2-run win.
Louisiana, who outhit South Alabama, 8-3, was led at the plate by Sanders, who went 3-for-3, including two homers and two runs batted in.
Alex Stewart (9-3) recorded the win for the Cajuns, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, while striking out a season-high 9 batters.
Destin Vicknair (9-5) suffered the loss for the Jaguars, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings of work.
In the regularly scheduled Sunday contest, Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, plating a run in the top half of the second inning, when Beth Ashley crushed a solo homer, her 3rd of the season, giving them a 1-0 lead.
The Cajuns put up a four-spot in the top half of the third inning, when Sanders clobbered a grand slam home run, her third homer of the series, and her 16th of the season, to widen their advantage to 5-0.
South Alabama scored their first runs of the game in the bottom half of the third inning, plating two runs on four hits, including a 2-run double off the bat of Amanda Minahan, to trim the deficit to 5-2.
The Jaguars got even closer in the bottom half of the fourth inning, scoring an unearned run on only one hit, to get to within 5-3.
South Alabama made it four unanswered runs in the bottom half of the 5th inning, when MC Nichols brought home a run with a two-out single, to make it 5-4.
The Cajuns pushed across three big runs in the top half of the 6th inning, all with two outs, including a two-run homer by Aleah Craighton, her 7th of the season, to extend their advantage to 8-4.
Louisiana finished the scoring with an insurance run in the top half of the 7th inning, when Abby Sterling delivered a two-out run-scoring double, to make it 9-4.
That would be all Louisiana would need, as they went on to the 5-run triumph, and the big three-game series sweep.
Louisiana, who was outhit by South Alabama, 11-10, was led at the plate by Sanders, who homered and drove in four runs, while Ashley and Craighton also homered.
Stewart (10-3) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, tossing three innings of scoreless relief.
Devin Brown (9-6) suffered the loss for the Jaguars, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits over 3.1 innings.
With the two wins, Louisiana improved to 23-5, overall, and 6-0 in league play, while South Alabama dropped to 19-12, and 2-7, respectively.
The Cajuns return to action on Saturday, when they travel to Statesboro, Georgia to take on the Georgia Southern Eagles in a doubleheader, representing the first two games of a three-game Sun Belt Conference series.