UL Softball Begins Conference Play With Win Over UTA
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns opened up Sun Belt Conference play in winning fashion on Friday night.
15th-ranked Louisiana defeated the UTA Mavericks, 9-6, in the opening game a three-game, weekend, Sun Belt Conference series in Arlington, Texas.
With the triumph, the Cajuns need just one more win over the Mavericks in one of the final two games of the series from running their Sun Belt Conference series win streak to 57, a school and Sun Belt Conference record, as well as the longest current conference win streak in the nation.
Louisiana has not dropped a conference series since the weekend of St. Patrick's Day in 2013.
Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, scoring three runs on two hits, with the key blow of the frame being a two-run home run by Alissa Dalton, her second of the season, which gave them a quick 3-0 lead.
The Cajuns added to their advantage in the top half of the third inning when Julie Rawls crushed a solo homer, her second of the season, which widened their lead to 4-0.
Louisiana added more runs on the board in the top half of the fourth inning, scoring three runs on four hits, including a run-scoring single off the bat of Kaitlyn Alderink, which made the score 7-0.
UTA refused to go away, however, scoring five unearned runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth inning, before adding another run in the bottom of the fifth inning, which closed the deficit to 7-6.
The Cajuns scored two big insurance runs in the top half of the sixth inning when Dalton crushed her second two-run homer of the evening, her third homer of the season, to make it 9-6.
That was all UL would need, as they would go on to the 9-6 triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit UTA, 13-6, were led at the plate by Dalton, who went 3-for-3, including two homers, along with Rawls, who went 3-for-4 with a home run.
In a losing cause for UTA, Madison Miller collected two hits.
Kandra Lamb (6-2) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, tossing 6.2 innings of two-hit shutout softball.
Laura Henrickson (0-2) suffered the loss for the Mavericks, allowing four runs on six hits over 3.0 innings.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 14-5, overall, and 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play, while UTA fell to 3-16, and 0-4, respectively.
The two teams square off on Saturday in the middle game of the three-game set, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.