(UL Athletics) – A pair of big innings early lifted 5th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball to a 10-2 (5 inn.) win over Coastal Carolina in the final game of the Sun Belt Conference Opening Series between the two teams at St. John Stadium.
The win earned Louisiana (16-6, 2-1 Sun Belt) the series victory, extending the program’s nation-leading total of consecutive conference series won to 56 straight.
The six-run first inning and four-run third inning, which put the Chanticleers (13-7, 1-2 Sun Belt) away, were both sparked by Sarah Hudek who ended the contest with game-high four RBI.
Hudek drilled a bases-loaded single up the middle in the first inning to plate two runs opening a 3-0 edge. Carrie Boswell followed with a two-run double, and quickly it was 5-0 in favor of the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Hudek struck again in the third inning as she followed up a leadoff walk from Julie Rawls with a home run deep to right center increasing the lead to 8-0.
Timely two-out hits starting with a single from Kendall Talley, followed by a run-scoring triple from Alissa Dalton and run-scoring double from Kaitlyn Alderink, added extra cushion that kept the margin in run rule territory despite the Chanticleers plating a pair of runs in the fourth inning.
Hudek led the charge for a group of six Ragin’ Cajuns who posted at least one RBI. Six individuals also had at least one hit, paced by two-hit efforts from Hudek, Alderkink and Talley.
Megan Kleist carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning. She struck out five batters and yielded just three hits, all in the fourth inning. Only 56 pitches were needed in the rebound effort after allowing four runs to Coastal on Friday.
The run-rule victory was the fifth this season for Louisiana, and the first since the Feb. 14 contest vs. North Dakota.