The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team has blessed their fans with another remarkable two weeks of play across two conference series against the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks, the Texas State Bobcats, and a midweek matchup with the Texas Longhorns.
The UTA series opened at home on Friday, March 25 to a recorded attendance of 1,854 fans, its largest audience for a conference matchup so far this season. The Mavericks came into the series with an 11–11 overall record and a 3–3 record in conference games.
The Cajuns would leave no doubt as to who was the superior team, run-ruling every game in the series and twice shutting the Mavericks out completely. As UTA’s bullpen struggled to contain the immense pressure of the Cajuns offense, Sam Landry, Meghan Schorman and Kandra Lamb made their case for the best pitching trio in the Sun Belt Conference as they combined for five hits, one earned run, and 23 strikeouts over 16 innings pitched.
Of specific importance was Saturday’s 10–0 effort, as the unnecessary loss against Georgia Southern the week prior was surely made a point of emphasis all week.
The only thing a Cajuns fan could possibly complain about was the notable lack of home runs in the series given the scoring margin, as shortstop Melissa Mayeaux (twice!) and first base Stormy Kotzelnick would put up the only such hits in the entire series.
Next, the Cajuns would face Texas in Austin on Wednesday, March 30. A 26–9–1 record, including two wins against the Cajuns earlier that month, surely had the Longhorns feeling confident, especially after d1softball.com ranked them the 15th-best program in the nation that Monday.
The Texans would open scoring, winning multiple full-count at-bats and forcing errors in the process of putting up four runs in the first two innings while holding the Cajuns scoreless. Fortunes changed in the third after two fielding errors on the Texans’ part, topped off by a clutch homer from sophomore second base Jourdyn Campbell to tie the game at 4–4.
Both defenses would find their rhythm and keep the scoring at bay for another four innings, until Campbell’s and catcher Sophie Piskos’ runs were batted in by a gutsy two-strike swing from Mayeaux to take the lead in extra innings. The Longhorns would put up one more unearned run, but would ultimately fall short, 6–5.
Then, to start April, the Cajuns would head further west to San Marcos to face an 18–13 Texas State team that was fresh off a sweep of Coastal Carolina the prior week. Friday’s game would end up as a Cajun’s win by the thinnest of margins, as a solo Kotzelnick homer off of a full count in the fourth inning would be the only run scored the entire game, 1–0. The game was tightly contested the entire way and featured multiple missed opportunities for the Bobcats. Four different Texas State runners would be left stranded in scoring position.
With so little run support in this game, the Cajuns bullpen shone when it mattered most. Landry helped deliver a much-needed shutout, and Schorman would record her second save of the season by striking out five of the nine batters she faced.
Saturday featured a brutal 10–1 run-rule victory for the Cajuns, featuring another two Mayeaux home runs, most notably an impressive inside-the-park variation in the fifth and final inning.
Sunday, the Cajuns would continue the trend of dropping weird games by losing the road trip sweep in a 4–5 error-fest. Had it not been for two unearned runs scoring, junior DP Karly Heath’s two-run homer in the sixth would have likely been enough offense to seal the deal. Once these types of games become a thing of the past for the Cajuns, there won’t be a team left in the SBC that can beat them.