UL Softball Clinches SBC Title With Win Over Coastal Carolina
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are once again Sun Belt Conference regular-season champions.
13th-ranked Louisiana completed a three-game, Sun Belt Conference series sweep of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Sunday, winning 10-2 in 5-inning mercy-rule fashion at St. John Stadium in Conway, South Carolina.
The Cajuns, who won both ends of a Saturday doubleheader, by scores of 7-2 and 7-0, ended up outscoring Coastal Carolina in the three games, 24-4.
Sunday's win clinched the regular-season title for Louisiana and the top-seed in the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
The regular-season title is the 17th for the Cajuns in the 20 years of Sun Belt Conference completed competition.
The only seasons that UL failed to win the regular-season crown were 2007, 2013, and 2018.
No league champion was crowned in 2020.
With the triumphs on Saturday, the Cajuns extended their Sun Belt Conference series win streak to 63, 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 win on Sunday over Carolina gave UL 23 wins over its last 25 games.
Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, scoring one run on two hits in the top half of the first inning when Ciara Bryan began the frame with a single, before stealing second and then crossing the plate on the backend of a double steal with Kaitlyn Alderink, which gave them a quick 1-0 lead.
The Cajuns added three more runs in the top half of the second inning when Karly Heath belted a three-run home run, her sixth of the season, which extended their lead to 4-0.
Coastal Carolina scored its only runs in the bottom half of the third inning when Kayla Rosado and McKenzie Beyer drove home runs, which cut the deficit to 4-2.
UL pushed across two more runs in the top half of the fourth when Alderink launched a two-run homer, her first of the season, to extend the edge to 6-2.
Louisiana put the game completely away in the top half of the fifth inning when Sophie Piskos smashed a grand slam home run, her second homer of the season, to make it 10-2.
That was more than enough, as the Cajuns rolled to the 10-2, five-inning win.
Louisiana, who outhit Coastal Carolina, 10-4, was led at the plate by Heath, Alderink, and Piskos, who all homered.
Summer Ellyson (18-5) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, twirling 2.1 innings of shutout relief.
The win was the 92nd in Ellyson's great career, which put her past Jordan Wallace for fourth place on the school's all-time list.
Raelee Brabham (5-6) suffered the loss for the Chanticleers, allowing six runs on eight hits over 4.0 innings.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 38-9, overall, and 19-2 in Sun Belt Conference play, while Coastal Carolina fell to 19-22, and 7-14, respectively.
The Cajuns return to the diamond on Thursday evening when they play host to the ULM Warhawks in the opening game of a three-game Sun Belt Conference series representing the final three games of the regular season.