Ragin’ Cajuns establish record Sun Belt softball start, hit 40-win mark

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Julie Rawls and Keeli Milligan played starring roles in historic night for No. 10 Louisiana

LAFAYETTE – No. 10 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball set the record for best start in conference play in Sun Belt history, improving to 19-0 in league play following a 10-2 (6 inn.) win over Georgia State on Thursday at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (40-4, 19-0 Sun Belt) methodically built the lead by plating two runs in each of their first three at bats. Julie Rawls would later put the game out of reach with her three-run home run in the fifth inning which increased the lead to 9-2.

The 19-0 start in SBC play eclipses the previous record of 18-0 first established by Louisiana during the 2001 season and matched by the program’s 2004 squad.

With the win Louisiana stretches its season-best win streak to 17 games and becomes the second team in the nation to reach 40 wins (joining Alabama).

LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Rawls tied her season-high with six RBI and the home run moved her into the team lead with 10. She opened the scoring in the first inning with an RBI ground out and delivered a two-run single in the next inning to start Louisiana’s separation from GSU (7-38, 4-15 Sun Belt).

Keeli Milligan continued her strong month at the plate, finishing 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI which came on a single in the fourth inning that upped the lead to 6-2. It was her fifth multiple-hit game in April.

Milligan also made headlines with her speed as she recorded three stolen bases to increase her season total to 51. She joined Dorsey Steamer as the only individuals in program history to reach 50 stolen bases and matched Steamer’s single-season stolen base record.

Eight different players scored at least one run. Milligan, who reached base all four of her plate appearances, crossed home plate three times.

Summer Ellyson hit double figures in strikeouts in only five innings for the second straight start as she fanned 11 Panthers batters which included striking out the side twice. She collected her nation-leading 27th win and moved to 14-0 in SBC play.

Alison Deville posted two strikeouts in her scoreless inning of relief – the fifth relief outing of scoreless softball for her this month.

NOTEWORTHY
• Julie Rawls’ 10 home runs match her personal single-season best hit in 2018 at Northwestern State.
• Since March 31, Keeli Milligan is batting a team-best .528 (19-for-36) with six multiple-hit games and 10 RBI.
• Keeli Milligan is now one stolen base away from breaking Dorsey Steamer’s record of 51 which has stood since 1992.
• Summer Ellyson posted her 10th double-digit strikeout performance of the season and 13th of her career. Her season strikeout total of 243 surpasses is a personal single-season best, ranks Top 5 nationally and leads the Sun Belt Conferece.
• Summer Ellyson increased her career strikeouts total to 486 which leaves her 14 shy of collecting the 500th tally of her career.
• Louisiana reached the 40-win plateau for the 21st consecutive season.
• The first inning production marked the 22nd time that Louisiana has plated a run in the first inning. The Ragin’ Cajuns moved to 36-1 when scoring first.
UP NEXT
The Easter Weekend series between the Ragin’ Cajuns and Panthers continues on Good Friday with a 6 p.m. start time from Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.

Fans can view the contest at RaginCajuns.com/Watch or listen on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM in the Acadiana area and the ESPN 1420 app worldwide.

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