Louisiana Extends Unbeaten Start in Sun Belt Play

LAFAYETTE – The 24th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team remained unbeaten in Sun Belt Conference play following a 9-2 win over James Madison on Sunday, April 7 at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.

Louisiana (27-13, 12-0 SBC), winners of nine straight and 18 of the last 19 games, picked up its fourth SBC series sweep of the season and sixth straight dating back to 2023.

The Dukes (21-16, 5-7 SBC) scored first after loading the bases in the first inning, but the Ragin’ Cajuns answered back quickly getting a two-run single from Maddie Hayden in the home half of the first to take the lead for good.

UL tacked on single runs the next two at bats with a two-out solo homer from Cecilia Vasquez in the second and a two-out RBI single from Brooke Ellestad in the third to stretch the lead out to 4-1.

With the lead growing, Chloe Riassetto (4.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 K) reasserted her control in the series. Riassetto took over in the second inning and held the Dukes hitless by retiring 11 straight batters through the fifth inning.

The knockout punch came in the fifth inning after JMU starting pitcher Payton List nearly escaped a bases loaded scenario. Victoria Valdez’s two-out, seeing-eye single plated two more runs – adding to what would be eight two-out RBI for UL in the game – to expand the margin to 6-1.

The lone run Riassetto allowed in the series came off a leadoff homer in the sixth by Reed Butler. Her teammates responded for her in the bottom of the sixth, netting three additional runs off a Laney Credeur solo launch and a two-run single from Ellestad.

Ellestad turned in a 3-for-4 performance with three RBI to notch her eighth multi-hit and eighth multi-RBI outing in SBC play. She raised her SBC play average to .579 and RBI total in league play to 26 RBI.

The home runs by Vasquez and Credeur were part of a two-hit showing by both players and upped the Cajuns’ total in the series to four.

Hayden continued her resurgence at the plate as her two-run base knock in the first brought her series RBI total to four.

Riassetto neutralized the JMU offense a second straight day and ended the series yielding only one earned run and six base hits over 13-2/3 innings pitched.

With Sunday’s win, the Ragin’ Cajuns remained perfect (now 6-0) in SBC play against the Dukes. The result plus Texas State’s loss to Troy added another game to UL’s lead in the SBC standings, the Cajuns now three games in front of the Bobcats heading into next weekend’s showdown in San Marcos, Texas.

Louisiana continues its best start in Sun Belt Conference play since the 2019 team went undefeated (25-0).


The Ragin’ Cajuns travel to San Marcos, Texas for a three-game Sun Belt Conference series at No. 23 Texas State (32-9, 9-3 SBC) that’s scheduled to run from Friday-Sunday, April 12-14 at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

Louisiana will have the opportunity to stretch out the lead over its closest competitor in the SBC standings.

The Cajuns-Bobcats series begins on Friday, April 12 with a 6:00 p.m. start time. All three games in the series are set to air on ESPN+.

Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Facebook (/RaginCajunsSB), Twitter (@RaginCajunsSB) and Instagram (@Louisiana.SB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Softball.

Fans are also encouraged to stay engaged with the Ragin’ Cajuns by downloading the #GeauxCajuns app. Click here for iOS/Apple platforms and here for Android platforms.

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