UL Softball Wins Two In Mardi Gras Classic
The 22nd-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns ran their season opening win streak to three games on Friday, winning two games on the second day of play in the Mardi Classic at Lamson Park.
Louisiana defeated the Eastern Illinois Panthers in their first game of the day, 2-1, before downing the Evansville Purple Aces, 7-1, courtesy of a pitching gem by Summer Ellyson.
The Cajuns, who beat Samford, 7-1, in their season opener on Thursday, are now 3-0 in the tournament, outscoring opponents 16-3 in the process.
UL has now won 4-straight games in the event, dating back to last year, after losing to Bradley, 2-1, on the final day of last year's tournament.
In the first game, Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, plating a run in the bottom half of the second inning, when Brittany Holland opened the frame with a leadoff single, before later scoring on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jolie Readeaux, to take a 1-0 lead.
Eastern Illinois tied it in the top half of the fourth inning, when Haley Mitchell belted a solo homer, her first of the season, to make it 1-1.
The Cajuns took the lead for good in the bottom half of the 5th inning, scoring the go-ahead run, when Brittany Rodriguez opened the frame with an infield single, before later scoring on a safety squeeze bunt off the bat of Alissa Dalton, to give them a 2-1 advantage.
That would turn out to be the game-winning run, as UL held on for the one-run triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit Eastern Illinois, 5-3, was paced at the plate by Holland, who went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Dalton and Readeaux each drove in runs.
Kylee Jo Trahan (1-0) recorded the win in the circle, allowing only one run on three hits, while striking out nine batters.
Michelle Rodgers (0-1) suffered the loss for the Panthers, allowing two runs on five hits, over 6 innings of work.
In their second game of the day, Louisiana again jumped out to the lead, scoring a run in the bottom half of the first inning, when Kelli Martinez crossed the plate on the back end of a two-out double steal, giving them a quick 1-0 edge.
The Cajuns added another two-out run in the bottom half of the second inning, when Aeriyl Mass reached on a one-out infield single, before scoring on an infield single off the bat of Jolie Readeaux, to widen their advantage to 2-0.
UL pushed across a third two-out run in the bottom half of the third inning, when Holland singled home Kara Gremillion, to make it 3-0.
Evansville scored their first and only run in the top half of the fourth inning, when Brittany Hay singled home Eryn Gould, who had doubled to lead off the inning, to trim the deficit to 3-1.
Louisiana put the game away in the bottom half of the fourth inning, scoring twice, courtesy of RBI singles by Readeaux and Kara Gremillion, to make the count 5-1.
The Cajuns continued to pile it on, scoring twice more in the bottom half of the 5th inning, including a run-scoring single by Readeaux, to extend their advantage to 7-1.
That would be all UL would need, as they coasted to the 6-run victory.
Louisiana, who outhit Evansville, 11-3, was paced at the plate by Readeaux, who went 3-for-3 with two RBI's, while Kara Gremillion collected two hits and also scored a run.
Ellyson (1-0) recorded the win in the circle, dominating the Purple Aces, in a record-setting performance.
A sophomore right-hander, Ellyson allowed only one run on three hits, while striking out a career-high 20 batters, which also set a new school record for a 7-inning game, breaking the old record previously held by Jordan Wallace.
Ellyson, who struck out the first ten batters she faced, in order, struck out the side in order in five of the seven innings.
Emily Lockhart (0-1) suffered the loss for the Purple Aces, allowing five runs on seven hits, over 3.1 innings of work.
With the two wins, Louisiana improved to a perfect 3-0 on the young season.
The Cajuns are scheduled to play twice more on Saturday, weather permitting, taking on Eastern Illinois at 2 o'clock, before squaring off with Iowa at 4:30 pm.
You can hear both games on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 and espn1420.com.