UL Softball Wins Sun Belt Conference Tournament
The 15th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball stayed unbeaten in postseason play on Saturday, defeating the Texas St. Bobcats, to win the 2017 Sun Belt Championship in Troy, Alabama.
Louisiana defeated Texas St., 12-0, in 5-inning mercy-rule fashion, giving them four wins in five tries against the Bobcats this season, while earning them their 14th postseason tournament title in the 18 years of softball in the league.
The Cajuns won 2-of-3 from Texas St. back in April in San Marcos, Texas, winning the first two games of the series, 8-1 and 12-4, before dropping the finale, 2-1, in their only league defeat of the year, prior to defeating the Bobcats, 5-2, on Friday.
This marks the second-consecutive year that Louisiana has defeated Texas St. in the tournament championship game, and by identical scores, after winning 12-0 in Mobile, Alabama.
The regular season conference champions, and the top-seed in the tournament, UL drew a bye on opening day, before defeating South Alabama on Thursday, 6-0.
The win extended the Cajuns’ current win streak to 13 games, while giving them 28 wins in their last 29 games, including 35 in their last 37.
UL has also now won 32 of their last 33 conference games, dating back to last season.
The win improved Louisiana’s all-time record in the event to an impressive 56-8, while earning them an automatic bid into the upcoming NCAA Regionals.
Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, and in a big way, plating five unearned runs in the bottom half of the first inning, as they took advantage of three Texas St. errors, while Lexie Comeaux singled home a run, to give them a quick 5-0 lead.
The Cajuns added six more runs in the bottom half of the 3rd inning, including a 2-run pinch-hit single by Beth Ashley, and a 3-run double off the bat of DJ Sanders, to take a commanding 11-0.
Four of UL’s six runs were unearned in the frame, giving them 9 unearned runs in the contest.
Louisiana added one more unearned run in the bottom half of the 4th inning, to complete the scoring, as they coasted to the 12-0 mercy-rule win, their second-consecutive 12-0 triumph over Texas St. in the tournament championship.
Louisiana, who outhit Texas St., 6-2, was led at the plate by Sanders, who drove in three runs, while Comeaux collected two hits.
Alex Stewart (25-3) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, tossing allowing 2 runs on3 hits, while improving her career Sun Belt Conference record to an amazing 38-1.
Jodi Paige Williams (6-4) suffered the loss for the Bobcats, allowing 5 unearned runs on only one hit, in one-third of an inning of work. She was one of four Texas St. pitchers on the afternoon.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 46-6, overall, while Texas St. dropped to 40-15.
The Cajuns next advance to NCAA Regional play, in which they will be making their 19th-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, including their 27th in the last 28 years.
The only year since 1990 in which Louisiana failed to appear in a regional was 1998.
Louisiana, who has hosted an NCAA Regional the last three years, has advanced to NCAA Super Regional play the 5-straight years, and 6 of the last 7.
NCAA Regional sites and pairings will be announced on Sunday night at 9 pm (cdt).