Rawls-led offense helps No. 16 Louisiana bury Georgia State

Cajun Nation

COURTESY: UL ATHLETICS

(UL ATHLETICS PRESS RELEASE) – No. 16 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball strung together multiple run-scoring innings, capped off by an eight-run fourth inning, to run away with a 13-1 (5 inn.) win over Georgia State on Saturday that completed a series sweep and extended the team’s winning streak to 10 games.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (25-6, 11-1 Sun Belt) generated 12 hits in the contest – including another four home runs – on the way to reaching double figures in runs and hits for the second time in three games against the Panthers (12-18, 0-10 Sun Belt).

Louisiana scored in each of its first four trips to the plate starting with an RBI double from Kendall Talley and solo home run from Jade Gortarez in the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead.

After trading runs in the second inning, Julie Rawls (2-for-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI) connected on the first of two home runs she would hit in the contest with her two-run blast in the third inning expanding the lead to 5-1.

Rawls’ second round tripper of the afternoon, and fourth overall of the series, was a three-run job that highlighted the surge in the fourth inning that put Georgia State away for good.

The Ragin’ Cajuns would send eight batters to the plate before a single out was recorded during the scoring spree. A pinch-hit, three-run home run by Bailey Curry which preceded Rawls’ fourth-inning home run was the spark that set the offense in motion.

For the second straight day Summer Ellyson (4.0 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 5 K) was the beneficiary of an offensive showcase by her teammates. Only once did Ellyson allow a GSU runner past second base (a second inning home run) as she claimed her 83rd career win moving her within one of tying Melissa Coronado for fifth place in program history.

DIAMOND NOTES

  • Louisiana outscored Georgia State 27-3 and outhit the Panthers 31-8 during the three-game series. It continued a week-long rise at the plate for the Ragin’ Cajuns who scored 22 runs and generated 29 hits in the sweep of Georgia Southern.
  • The Ragin’ Cajuns posted 10 home runs off of GSU pitching, led by the series-high four from Julie Rawls and two from Jade Gortarez.
  • Louisiana’s final series line of a .369 average, 27 runs, 31 hits, 25 RBI and a .738 slugging percentage marked season-high totals for a three-game series this season.
  • The 12 hits recorded marked the fourth time in the last five outings that Louisiana has reached double digits. It is the 14th time this season the offense has delivered 10-plus hits.
  • Adding in the home run total collected in Atlanta, the Ragin’ Cajuns have now posted 15 home runs over the past seven games.
  • With a single to lead off the game, Ciara Bryan kept alive her reached base streak which is now at a season-long 31 games. It’s the longest such streak by a Ragin’ Cajun since Kara Gremillion ended the 2017 season with a 47-game reached base streak.
  • Ciara Bryan also extended her current hitting streak to six games – the third time in the 2021 season she’s had a hit streak of at least six games. The current streak began back on March 28 after her career-long, 17-game streak was snapped in the South Alabama series finale.
  • The RBI double in the first inning stretched Kendall Talley’s hitting streak to nine games, her longest as a Ragin’ Cajun. It surpasses the eight-game hitting streak she posted in her debut season with Louisiana in 2020.
  • During the current nine-game hitting streak, Kendall Talley is batting a team-leading .520 (13-for-25) with nine runs scored and five RBI.
  • Over the last two Sun Belt series (Georgia Southern, Georgia State), Kendall Talley finished 10-for-17 at the plate (.588) to raise her conference-only average to a team-best .464.
  • Jade Gortarez homered for the fourth time in the past week and is currently tied with Julie Rawls for the team-lead with six home runs on the season.
  • Summer Ellyson continued her resurgence in the circle since re-entering Game 2 at UT Arlington back on March 20. Since then she’s yielded only three earned runs over the last 36-1/3 innings pitched.
  • For Summer Ellyson, it was the sixth straight start – all in Sun Belt play – holding the opposition to two earned runs or less. It’s brought her conference ERA below 2.00 (now at 1.67).
  • The Ragin’ Cajuns improved to 20-0 when scoring five or more runs, while the pitching staff held the opposition to two runs or fewer for the 19th time in 31 outings (19-0 mark).
  • Louisiana’s current winning streak is the program’s longest since the record-setting 29-game streak posted in 2019.
  • Louisiana increased its all-time series lead over Georgia State to 31-3. That includes a 20-1 mark in Sun Belt Conference regular season games.

UP NEXT
The 16th-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns continue their Spring Break road trip with three consecutive days of midweek games in Texas, starting on Monday, April 5 with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Lamar in Beaumont. Play continues Tuesday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Huntsville against Sam Houston State followed by a 6 p.m. single game at Houston on Wednesday, April 7.

After wrapping up play in Texas, the 10-game road trip ends Friday-Sunday, April 9-11 in Troy, Ala., with a key Sun Belt Conference showdown against the Trojans.

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