How many freshmen will be in the starting line-up when the Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team opens up their 2018 season on Thursday?

My guess is three, but possibly as many as five.

And that's just position players, not counting pitching, of which I expect to see at least a couple of freshmen hurlers this week.

That's a lot, but Louisiana has a lot of talented freshmen.

The 22nd-ranked Cajuns begin their 2018 regular season schedule on Thursday, taking on Samford in the first day of play in the 4-day Mardi Gras Classic at Lamson Park.

UL may not have five freshmen in their season opener on Thursday, but expect five to see significant playing time over the weekend.

In the outfield, Casidy Chaumont, a true freshmen from Sam Houston High School in Moss Bluff, will likely get the start on Thursday, in either centerfield or right-field.

Chaumont brings a power/speed combination that Louisiana fans are going to love.

Chaumont may be joined in the outfield, for at least a couple of games, by Aeriyl Mass, a true freshman from Barbe High School, who led the team in hitting during the preseason scrimmages.

Coach Gerry Glasco will use a speed line-up, as well as a power line-up this weekend. When he uses the speed version, Mass will get the call, and will likely be hitting near the top of the order, possibly second.

When coach Glasco uses his power line-up, redshirt freshman Kourtney Gremillion will see action.

Gremillion has really done well in recent weeks, and could provide a power bat for the Cajuns this year.

We know Gremillion has the credentials, after being named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s All-American first team following her senior season at St. Amant High School, one in which she batted a .610, to go along with 13 home runs and 62 runs batted in.

True freshman Jolie Readeaux, from Houston, Texas, could see time at either second base or right field.

Readeaux was one of the more impressive newcomers during the preseason, and her versatility could turn her into a "super utility" type of player.

Readeaux is going to play a lot this year, somewhere.

The final freshman you may see a lot of is Caitlin Garcia, from Spring, Texas.

A power bat, Garcia has turned some heads, and due to a tender arm that incumbent catcher Lexie Comeaux is nursing, she may see time behind the plate over the first weekend.

If Comeaux is unable to go, it will either be Garcia or sophomore Beth Ashley taking over behind the plate.

Even if Comeaux, a second-team All-Sun belt Conference and All-Louisiana selection in 2017, answers the bell, Garcia will get at-bats, at some point, possibly as a designated hitter.

So, while you shouldn't expect to see all five freshmen in the starting line-up on Thursday, you probably should expect to all of them, in some capacity, over the six scheduled games.

Another newcomer, sophomore Brittany Holland, will also likely be in the starting line-up on Thursday.

Starting line-ups are overrated on opening weekend. Coaches are still feeling out their teams, and so much can change, and usually does.

That being said, it's going to be fun to see how these talented young players fare in their first collegiate outings.

These young ladies are the future of Ragin' Cajun softball.

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