Louisiana-Lafayette softball team off to best start ever
LAFAYETTE — The 11th ranked University of Louisiana at Lafayette softball team now has started the 2012 season better than any Ragin’ Cajuns team in the program’s 32 year history at 23-0 after a 6-0 victory against rival McNeese State Tuesday at Lamson Park.
Freshman Jordan Wallace’s pitching performance led the Cajuns (23-0, 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play). Wallace (11-0) notched her sixth complete game and second shutout of the year as she allowed three hits, walked two and fanned a career-high eight MSU (15-8) hitters.
“I think the more she gets to throw, the more comfortable she is going to get out there in the circle, and the better she will be able to clear her mind,” ULL co-head coach Michael Lotief said in a university news release. “When a pitcher is not in their comfort zone, things tend not to go your way as much and you struggle to find your pitches. The more she is able to see time out there, the more she will trust in herself, because in order for her to be successful, she has to be able to command three pitches.”
Christi Orgeron smacked her team-leading 10th home run of the year on a three-run blast, while Nerissa Myers finished the night 1-for-2 with a two RBI triple. Matte Haack was hitless in the ballgame, snapping her 14 game streak.
The Cajuns filled the bases in the bottom half of the first as Myers was hit by a pitch, Orgeron walked and Haack reached on an error to bring Paige Cormier to the plate. The senior knocked in the first run of the game on an RBI single to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Myers gave Louisiana a three run advantage in the bottom of the second inning with her second triple of the year in which she plated Fernandez and Smith for a 3-0 lead.
Fernandez and Smith each recorded hits to begin the fourth and came around to score again as Orgeron took a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall, upping the UL lead to 6-0.
Wallace took a no hitter into the fifth inning before the Cowgirl’s catcher, Stacey Conley, singled up the middle for McNeese’s first hit of the game. Wallace, a Weatherford, Texas, native, retired two of the next three McNeese hitters to get out of the frame and keep the shutout intact.
Meagan Bond (9-6) took the loss for the Cowgirls. She surrendered all six runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out one. Tiffany Denham pitched two scoreless and hitless innings while striking out two and walking one.
In the loss, McNeese committed two errors and left five base runners stranded.
The Ragin’ Cajuns take their perfect season to Fullerton, Calif., as they prepare for the Judi Garman Classic Thursday through Saturday. UL will open up with No. 5 Arizona State on Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
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The Cowgirls will host the University of Texas-San Antonio this weekend in its Southland Conference opening series after its original opening series at Stephen F. Austin last weekend was changed to a doubleheader on April 16. This weekend’s SLC series will consist of two games this year instead of the usual three. The team will play a single game at 6 p.m. Friday and a single game at 1 p.m. Saturday.