Cajuns Close Regular Season With ULM Sweep

MONROE – The No. 10 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball team completed a three-game Sun Belt Conference sweep of ULM here Sunday at the ULM Softball Complex with a 9-2 victory in the 2015 regular season finale.

Samantha Walsh posted a four-hit day, finishing 4-for-4 at the plate, and scored three runs. Kelsey Vincent (four) and Shellie Landry (three) combined for seven RBI.

The Ragin' Cajuns (37-8, 20-3 Sun Belt) begin postseason play in San Marcos, Texas, at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament being held Wednesday-Saturday, May 6-9 at Bobcat Softball Stadium at Texas State University. Louisiana, the No. 1 seed in the event, has earned a bye in the quarterfinal round and will begin play on Thursday, May 7 at 5 p.m., against an opponent to be determined.

Christina Hamilton (10-2) started for Louisiana and limited ULM to one run and three hits in four innings of work. Hamilton, a senior, concluded her collegiate career undefeated in her final 21 Sun Belt Conference regular season starts.

Jordan Wallace, a fellow senior pitcher, hurled the softball for the final three innings of the contest allowing a single hit and striking out six. Wallace's first strikeout after entering the game in the bottom of the fifth inning was career strikeout No. 863 which moved her past Ashley Brignac for second place.

A run which scored on a wild pitch was the only blemish on Wallace's appearance which landed the Weatherford, Texas, native her second save of the season.

The Cajuns made the Warhawks (28-20, 10-12 Sun Belt) pay for free passes in the first inning to claim an early lead. Haley Hayden led off with a walk, and then with two outs Walsh was hit by a pitch from starting pitcher Melanie Coyne. Vincent doubled to bring them home and then scored on a Leandra Maly double down the right field line for a 3-0 lead.

ULM responded with a run in the bottom of the first netting a run on a two-out, RBI single from Faith Bohack to trim the Cajuns lead to 3-1.

Louisiana answered and stretched the lead in the second inning. A three-run home run by Landry, set up by a hit by pitch of Aleah Craighton and Kelli Martinez walk, pushed the advantage to 6-1. Back-to-back, two-out singles from Walsh and Vincent resulted in another run.

A pair of defensive plays by Landry prevented ULM from answering again. She made a diving catch on a shallow fly ball off the bat of Mackenzie Miller with pinch runner Kaitlyn Dupuis at second base, then threw out Dupuis attempting to score on a single by Navarrete.

After a scoreless third inning from both sides, Walsh started the fourth inning with a solo home run that upped the lead to 8-1. The Warhawks escaped further damage as Vanessa Garcia grabbed a bases-loaded grounder off the bat of Hayden and stepped on the third base bag for the final out.

The teams traded a single run over the final three innings with the Warhawks scoring on a Wallace wild pitch in the fifth inning and the Cajuns netting a run on a Vincent sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

With the win Louisiana improved to 99-27 in the all-time series with ULM. The Cajuns swept the Sun Belt series from the Warhawks for the third straight season and improved to 21-5 against their in-state foes in SBC games.


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