SOFTBALL: All-around effort highlights Saturday’s sweep at Lamson Park

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LAFAYETTE – The offense cranked six home runs and the pitching staff tossed 11 shutout innings on the day as No. 18-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball posted run-rule wins over North Dakota State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday in the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational at Lamson Park.

Louisiana (15-4) moved to 4-0 in the weekend event, which wraps up on Sunday, following a 15-0 (5 inn.) win over NDSU and a 8-0 (6 inn.) win over A&MCC.

The Ragin’ Cajuns will face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 11:30 a.m. and Alcorn at 1:45 p.m. to complete tournament play.

Saturday’s sweep moved head coach Michael Lotief one win away from his 700th career victory. Lotief’s career record now stands at 699-172-1 (.802).

Five different players posted three hits as Louisiana compiled 23 over the two games. Lexie Comeaux and DJ Sanders both homered in each game, the tally increasing Sanders’ season total to 10. Comeaux led all Cajuns on Saturday with five RBI.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have now won 11 of their last 12 games dating back to the Alabama weekend series.

The offense has now produced multiple home runs five straight games and 10 of the last 12 overall. Saturday’s production brought the team’s season batting average above .300 (.309 actual).

Louisiana vs. North Dakota State
Louisiana jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning, chasing NDSU starter KK Leddy. Beth Ashley (double), Comeaux (single) and Kelli Martinez (double) each delivered two RBI as the Ragin’ Cajuns stretched out a 1-0 lead.

The final blow came in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded RBI single from Martinez. A misplay on Martinez’s slap hit into center field allowed the bases to be empty, and for her to score, increasing the lead to 13-0.

Louisiana’s 7-8-9 hitters (Comeaux, Kassidy Zeringue, Martinez) combined to go 7-for-8 with seven runs scored and seven RBI.

Comeaux was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and four RBI while Martinez was 3-for-3 with three RBI. Sanders hit her team-leading ninth home run of the season.

Alex Stewart (3.0 IP), Macey Smith (1.0 IP) and Kylee Jo Trahan (1.0 IP) combined for a one-hit shutout of NDSU (5-13). It was the pitching staff’s fifth shutout of the season.

Louisiana vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
The Ragin’ Cajuns belted a season-high four home runs, getting one apiece from Comeaux, Aleah Craighton, Kara Gremillion and Sanders, in outpacing the Islanders (4-11).

Stewart pitched five shutout innings and Summer Ellyson pitched the sixth inning to complete the pitching staff’s second shutout of the day and sixth of the season. The performance brought Stewart’s line for Saturday’s action to eight innings pitched with no runs and just two hits allowed.

After pushing across a pair of unearned in the first inning, the Ragin’ Cajuns methodically increased their lead.

It began with solo home runs from Gremillion (2nd inning) and Sanders (3rd inning) which made it 4-0. The final push was a four-run sixth inning keyed by solo home runs from Comeaux and Craighton plus an RBI double from Haley Hayden

Sanders’ home run moved her into double digits for the season at 10. She’s now homered in four of the last five games and picked up seven home runs since the start of the Mardi Gras Invitational on Feb. 23.

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