Credit: Gators Softball. (Twitter: @GatorsSB)

Postseason Caliber: Gators host Ragin’ Cajuns

Anyone that’s a fan of college sports is looking forward to the start of March for March Madness. Little do they know, that for the second weekend in a row, softball is gracing fans with post-season caliber play in February.

Tim Walton and the No. 6 Florida Gators are no exception. Starting on Friday night, the Gators will be hosting No. 10-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette.

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Scouting the Ragin’ Cajuns

Louisiana-Lafayette is coming off of mid-week doubleheader against then-No. 3 Texas.

In the opening game of the header, the Ragin’ Cajuns emerged victorious after a three-run home run from Bailey Curry in the fifth inning. Though that was the only time Louisiana-Lafayette scored, it was enough to seal a 3-2 win.

In the nightcap, the Longhorns dropped the Ragin’ Cajuns in another tight contest. Losing 2-1, it was another Curry home run that put Louisiana on the scoreboard.

Despite heating up as of lately, Curry’s stats don’t jump off of the page. Batting under .300 (.250), Curry’s two home runs against Texas make up two of her three on the season. The Cajuns in totality though, they are a different story.

Half of Louisiana’s typical starters bat over .300. Collectively, the Ragin’ Cajuns have collected 17 home runs and 23 doubles.

Louisiana’s Julie Rawls has amassed 13 hits on the season, with each pushing across a run.

In the circle, Ellyson Summer and Megan Kleist split the pitching duties. Together, they have faced 374 batters and struck out 116 of them.

Summer and Kleist have held opposing batters to a batting average of .162 and .175, respectively.

Eye on the Gators

Coming off of a long, successful weekend in California, the Gators had plenty of time to recoup. They haven’t seen the playing surface in four days.

After the break, it will be interesting to see how quickly the Gators’ lineup can heat up. After all, Florida’s at-bats have been the driving force of the team.

Florida senior Kendyl Lindaman, typically the two-hole hitter, has produced NCAA-leading statistics through her career. As it stands, Lindaman leads active NCAA DI softball in career RBIs with 198 and ranks second in home runs with 58.

However, the Gators aren’t only finding success from their veterans.

Freshman Baylee Goddard continues to make great use of her time at the plate. Whether it be from taking a hit from a pitch or knocking the ball, Goddard’s on-base percentage of .605 leads the SEC and ranks 23rd in the country.

Goddard has recorded eight hits in 2020, with three of them leaving the yard — good for 10 runs.

From the circle, Florida’s pitchers continue to get the job done.

With junior Natalie Lugo and freshman Rylee Trlicek sharing the duties, each maintain an ERA under 2.0 at 1.40 and 1.58, respectively.

Lugo continues to separate herself from the five-armed staff as her 64 strikeouts and .142 opposing batting average are the leading numbers on the staff by a landslide.

Catch the action

Aside from watching live at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, fans can also watch the game on SEC Network+. Or, listen in on WGGG (92.1 FM/1230 AM) & WMOP (100.1 FM/900 AM).

The slate:

  • Friday: #6 Florida vs #10 Louisiana-Lafayette – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: #6 Florida vs #10 Louisiana-Lafayette – 1 p.m.
  • Sunday: #6 Florida vs #10 Louisiana-Lafayette – 12 p.m.

 

 

About Ainslie Lee

Ainslie is a journalism major at the University of Florida where she specializes in Sports Media. Her main passion is college football as it was a huge part of her childhood. Ainslie serves as a current correspondent for the Ocala Star-Banner, a newspaper for the Ocala, Florida area. She currently covers Marion County high school sports.

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