SOFTBALL: Denham guides Ragin’ Cajuns past Maryland

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LAFAYETTE – No. 16 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball extended its winning streak to six games on Saturday as Alyssa Denham tossed a three-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over Maryland in the Mardi Gras Invitational at Lamson Park.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (10-3) conclude play in the Mardi Gras Invitational on Sunday facing Bradley at 11:15 a.m. and Mississippi Valley at 1:30 p.m. The games can be heard in the Lafayette area on ESPN 1420-AM and worldwide on the RadioPup app. A live video stream and live statistics is available at RaginCajuns.com.

For fans attending Sunday’s game, general admission parking will be available at Cajun Field with a game ticket in hand or by paying the entrance fee. It will be first come-first served in conjunction with the fair patrons. Reserved parking will be available at Lamson Park.

Overflow parking will be available at Bourgeois Hall, Fraternity Row on Glynn Abel Drive (limited number of spaces) and at Sorority Row and Printing Services on Coliseum Drive. Parking at the Intramural Fields is also an option.

Denham (4-1, 1.32 ERA) faced only three batters over the minimum and was in command from start to finish in collecting her second shutout in the past week (defeated No. 4 Alabama, 7-0, last Sunday). The Ragin’ Cajuns freshman hurler from Pearland (Texas) High recorded a first pitch strike on 20 of the 24 batters she faced and did not issue a walk.

Kara Gremillion and Haley Hayden paced the offense for the Ragin’ Cajuns with two hits apiece, both finishing 2-for-4 at the plate. Hayden’s performance pushed her Mardi Gras Invitational performance to 8-for-12 (.667).

Gremillion (RBI single) and Daniella Chavez (sacrifice fly) each recorded an RBI for Louisiana. Chavez has now driven in nine runs during the Mardi Gras Invitational.

After a pair of scoreless innings, Louisiana took hold of the lead in the top of the third inning. Hayden led off with a single, Aleah Craighton was hit by a pitch and DJ Sanders drew a walk to load the bases. Chavez battled through nine pitches from Maryland starter Madison Martin to lift a sacrifice fly into deep center field to plate Hayden for a 1-0 lead.

The Ragin’ Cajuns defense fended off the lone Terrapins scoring threat in the bottom half of the third. After a leadoff double by Hannah Dewey and sacrifice bunt which moved her to third base, Gremillion caught a pop up off the bat of Destiney Henderson and flipped back to Sanders at the third base bag to convert an inning-ending double play.

Denham was given added cushion in Louisiana’s next at bat. Kassidy Zeringue walked and Kelli Martinez singled into left to start the frame. They both rounded home to increase the lead to 3-0, with Zeringue scoring a single down the left field line by Gremillion and Martinez crossing on a misplay of a Craighton grounder back to the circle.

Louisiana and Maryland met at Lamson Park for the first time. The lone prior meeting between the two schools came in March 1997 in Marietta, Ga.

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