Seventh inning jolt secures series finale at UTA for No. 15 Ragin’ Cajuns
Ciara Bryan home run upholds a strong day in the circle in Arlington
ARLINGTON, Texas – With one swing of the bat in the seventh inning from Ciara Bryan the 15th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team was assured it would depart Allan Saxe Field on Sunday afternoon with a Sun Belt Conference series victory.
All even at 2-all after UT Arlington plated two unearned runs in the sixth inning, Bryan delivered a two-run home run that returned the lead to Louisiana for good (16-6, 2-1 Sun Belt) at 4-2.
The heroic shot from Bryan extended her personal hitting streak to 15 games and landed the win for the Ragin’ Cajuns that extended the program’s nation-leading streak of consecutive conference series won to 57 straight dating back to March 2013.
Louisiana was in control throughout the afternoon as Summer Ellyson turned in a vintage performance in the circle, holding the Mavericks (4-17, 1-5 Sun Belt) scoreless until a misplay in the sixth inning extended the frame and allowed the hosts to draw even.
Ellyson pitched 5-2/3 innings limiting UTA to just two hits and didn’t allow a runner to reach base or enter scoring position until the third inning. The Mavericks only had two total base runners through five innings of play.
It was a scoreless affair through three complete innings as UTA pitcher Kenedy Hines was able to work around six walks. The Ragin’ Cajuns broke through after Hines’ seventh walk of the game, when on the next at bat of the fourth inning Karly Heath powered a two-run home run to right field for a 2-0 edge.
Louisiana maintained the two-run edge until the Mavericks evened the score in the sixth inning. Kandra Lamb closed the inning, then after Bryan’s home run worked a hitless seventh inning to secure the triumph.
• After re-entering in the second inning of Game 2 on Saturday, Summer Ellyson went on to close out the series holding UTA to no earned runs and only four hits allowed over her final 10 innings in the circle.
• In addition to extending her team-best hitting streak (now at 15 games) with the home run in the seventh inning, Ciara Bryan has now reached base safely in all 22 games this season.
• Louisiana made the most of its opportunities as two of the three hits the squad recorded came with a runner on the base path (Heath and Bryan home runs).
• Both Karly Heath and Ciara Bryan collected their third home run of the 2021 season, moving into a tie for the team lead with Alissa Dalton and Justice Milz.
• The game-winning home run by Ciara Bryan was set up by the bat and speed of Jenna Kean. With one out in the seventh, perfectly placed bunt from Kean prevented UTA from gaining the second out, then she stole third base forcing the Mavericks to pitch to Bryan.
• With the win in relief, Kandra Lamb received both wins in the weekend series. Lamb worked seven scoreless innings in the series and held UTA to just two hits.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns claimed a winner-take-all game from the Mavericks at Allan Saxe Field for the second straight visit. In 2018, Louisiana claimed a 3-2 decision in 12 innings to keep alive the current streak of consecutive Sun Belt series won.
• Louisiana increased its all-time series lead over UTA to 31-7 which includes an 18-3 mark in Sun Belt Conference games.
• Louisiana improved to 12-3 in games away from Lamson Park this season (9-3 in true road games, 3-0 in neutral site games).
No. 15 Louisiana is scheduled to return to Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park on Wednesday, March 24 to face Louisiana Tech in a 6 p.m. single game.
The matchup with the Lady Techsters begins a week-long homestand for the Ragin’ Cajuns that continues over the weekend with a Sun Belt series against South Alabama (16-8, 6-0 Sun Belt).
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