Cajun Softball Clinches 11th Conference Championship, Sweep UTA
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun softball team finished off the UT-Arlington Mavericks Sunday afternoon with another shutout, 8-0. With the victory, the Cajuns clinched their 11th Sun Belt Conference championship in school history.
Louisiana (38-7-1, 16-1) also clinches the #1 seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, along with an automatic bye into the 3rd round. The Cajuns will remain at home for at least the next two weeks. Next weekend, they play host to the ULM Warhawks. The following week they remain at home as host of the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament. With an RPI of 6, the Cajuns have a strong chance at earning a national seed in the NCAA softball regionals.
"With this group, every year we talk about playing every game, and we have three more games to play," head coach Michael Lotief said after Sunday's win. "After that is when you look up at the standings. This team is deserving of a conference championship, they have worked hard, played hard, and overcome adversity. They fight for each other and they deserve this, but we have to finish."
The Cajuns finished strong on Sunday. After two shutout victories yesterday, Louisiana attacked the Mavericks from start to finish, scattering runs throughout the game.
Lexie Elkins put the Cajuns up in the first inning, jacking a 2 run homer, her 16th of the season, driving in Haley Hayden.
Shellie Landry added another Cajun run in the 3rd, hitting a solo home run, her 3rd of the year.
In the 5th inning, Louisiana added 2 more, beginning when Corin Voinche scored Gabby Felps with a deep double to left field. Hayden scored Voinche to make it 5-0 after 5.
In the 6th, Samantha Walsh earned an RBI with a bases-loaded walk. The Cajuns left no doubt in the 7th, scoring two more. Voinche batted in her 2nd RBI of the afternoon, scoring freshmen Kendall Smith, before Voinche herself crossed the plate for the 8th run of the game, scoring off a Maverick error.
Christina Hamilton earned her 21rst victory of the year, pitching a jewel, tossing six shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits while striking out 4 and walking no one.
Victoria Brown pitched the 7th inning, keeping the shutout in tact.
Louisiana's pitching staff was superb all weekend, allowing only 7 Maverick hits in 19 innings of work, keeping UTA completely off the scoreboard.
The next softball broadcast is set for Saturday, as Louisiana hosts ULM in a double-header. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00. Steve Peloquin has the call on ESPN1420 and espn1420.com. Pregame is set for 1:45.