SOFTBALL: Lotief collects win No. 700, Cajuns win two on Sunday

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LAFAYETTE – Head coach Michael Lotief captured his 700th career win and 18th Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball completed an undefeated run through the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational on Sunday at Lamson Park.

Louisiana (17-4) opened the day with an 18-0 (5 inn.) win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi which marked Lotief’s momentous triumph. The Ragin’ Cajuns followed up with a 14-4 (5 inn.) win over Alcorn to finish the tournament 6-0 and extend their current winning streak to seven games.

No. 18 Louisiana is scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, March 7 in a 4 p.m. doubleheader with No. 22 Baylor at Lamson Park. That will be the final contests of the squad’s season-opening 23-game homestand.

The Baylor doubleheader 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.

A big third inning was the highlight of Sunday’s sweep for Louisiana. In both games, the Ragin’ Cajuns plated 11 runs in the third inning.

Against A&MCC the 11-run third inning explosion extended the lead to 14-0. The outburst in the third inning against Alcorn erased a 4-3 deficit.

Lexie Comeaux and Daniella Chavez turned in the key performances at the plate for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Comeaux homered three times on the day to finish the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational with six home runs. Chavez posted three RBI in both outings for six on the day which pushed her tournament total to eight.

As a team, the Ragin’ Cajuns produced 32 runs off of 34 hits on Sunday highlighted by a season-high 19 hits against A&MCC. Louisiana finished the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational with a .454 average, 17 home runs, 71 runs and 74 hits over the six games.

Louisiana vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
For the fifth time in as many games on the weekend the Ragin’ Cajuns scored in their first at bat. Three straight run-producing hits – Aleah Craighton single, DJ Sanders double and Chavez single – put Louisiana ahead 3-0 before an out was recorded.

Singles from Sanders, Chavez and Corin Voinché loaded the bases to start what would be the 11-run third inning that put the Islanders (5-13) away. Comeaux opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly and capped off the spree with a three-run homer to center field that moved the lead to 14-0.

A two-run double by pinch hitter Sarah Arceneaux and Jaime Landry’s first collegiate home run played into the final four runs Louisiana would score over the last two innings.

Alyssa Denham pitched three hitless innings and struck out four to collect her 6th win of the season, improving to 6-1. Summer Ellyson and Victoria Brown each worked an inning to close the contest.

Twelve (12) different Cajuns produced at least one base hit as Louisiana piled up a season-high 19 hits.

Sanders (3-for-3, RBI) and Daniella Chavez (3-for-4, 3 RBI) each delivered three-hit games. Comeaux hit her fourth home run of the weekend and fifth of the season and led the Cajuns with four RBI.

Louisiana vs. Alcorn
The Ragin’ Cajuns continued the trend of scoring in the first at bat when two batters into the bottom of the first Haley Hayden homered to right field. Chavez later delivered an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

The first of two home runs Comeaux would hit off of Braves pitching upped the lead to 3-0 in the second inning.

Denham, starting a second straight game, was cruising along until two outs in the top of the third inning. Back-to-back home runs from Jessica Crum and Victoria Tyler pulled Alcorn (3-13) ahead 4-3.

Louisiana reclaimed the lead the very next at bat, plating 11 runs off nine hits in the bottom of the third.

Back-to-back RBI singles from Chavez and Voinché pulled the Cajuns ahead 5-4. On the very next at bat, Comeaux launched a three-run home, her second of the game and third of the day, increasing the lead to 8-4 and the Ragin’ Cajuns didn’t look back.

Alex Stewart, who relieved Denham after the two home runs that put Alcorn ahead, picked up the win in relief after tossing 1-1/3 scoreless innings. Macey Smith pitched a scoreless 5th inning to conclude the day.

Comeaux went 2-for-2 at the plate in Sunday’s finale, both hits home runs, and tallied a game-high four RBI for the second straight game. Her final line for the day was 3-for-4, three runs scored, three home runs and eight RBI.

Chavez produced three RBI on a 2-for-3 showing at the plate. The junior transfer from Kansas collected six RBI on the day and upped her team-leading multiple-RBI games total to eight.

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