UL Downs ULM In Series Opener
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns continue to roll in Sun Belt Conference softball play.
14th-ranked Louisiana captured a 10-1 five-inning mercy-rule win over the ULM Warhawks at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park on Thursday night in the opening game of a three-game Sun Belt Conference series, representing the final three games of the 2021 regular season for both squads.
With the triumph, the Cajuns are one win away from extending their Sun Belt Conference series win streak to 64, a school and Sun Belt Conference record, as well as the longest current conference win streak in the nation.
Louisiana has not dropped a conference series since the weekend of St. Patrick's Day in 2013.
The victory also gave UL 24 wins over their last 27 games, while extending their win streak over the Warhawks to 23 games dating back to the 2012 season.
Louisiana has already captured the regular-season Sun Belt Conference championship, their 17th in the 20 years of completed competition in league play.
ULM got on the scoreboard first, scoring a run in the top half of the second inning, courtesy of a solo home run by Jayden Mount, her fifth of the season, which gave them a quick 1-0 lead.
Louisiana tied the game in the bottom half of the first inning when Ciara Bryan began the frame with a double before later scoring on a fielder's choice bouncer off the bat of Alissa Dalton, which evened the score at 1-1.
The Cajuns put the game away by scoring seven runs on six hits in the bottom half of the second inning, including a solo homer by Julie Rawls, her 9th of the season, which gave them an 8-1 lead.
Louisiana added two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning to end it, courtesy of a two-run home run by Karley Heath, her 7th of the season, which gave them the 10-1 mercy-rule triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit ULM, 10-4, was led at the plate by Rawls and Heath, who both homered, while Bryan collected one hit and scored twice.
In a losing cause for ULM, Mount went 2-for-3 with a home run.
Summer Ellyson (19-5) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, allowing one run on four hits over 5.0 innings.
For Ellyson, it was her 93rd career victory as a Cajun, placing her one behind Ashley Brignac for third place on the school's all-time list.
Adrianna Chavarria (1-10) suffered the loss for the Warhawks, allowing four runs on four hits over 1-plus innings.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 39-9, overall, and 20-2 in Sun Belt Conference play, while ULM fell to 15-29 and 5-14, respectively.
The two teams will square off in the middle game of the series on Friday evening at 6 p.m.