When I look at this year’s roster for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns it reminds me of the professional baseball team the New York Yankees who have won 27 World Series titles with the first one coming way back in 1923. Over the years the Yankees’ lineup has read like a hall of fame list with some of the greatest players in the history of the game playing for them.
This years Ragin’ Cajuns team, like those Yankee teams is so packed with all star talent that they look like an almost sure pick to become this year’s D-1 softball Champions. Getting that much talent to gel though can be a big job. One that is left up to team head coach Gerry Glasco. Glasco has proven that players want to play for him as witnessed by the many all-star performers who have transferred to Louisiana since his arrival there.
In 2019 The Ragin’ Cajuns posted a 52-6 record overall, going a very impressive 25-0 in the Sun Belt Conference. Playing at home before their rabid fans at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park the team lost only one home game during the season going 25-1. The team swept both the Sun Belt regular season and tournament championships.
For the Ragin Cajuns it all starts with pitching and returning senior Summer Ellyson who went 39-6 with an impressive 1.11 ERA last season while striking out 354 batters. Ellyson was named the 2019 Sun Belt conference pitcher of the year. Ellyson won’t have to do it alone in the circle this year though. Setting out last year after transferring from Oregon all-American pitcher Megan Kleist will be joining her on the pitching staff in 2020. The combo of Ellyson and Kleist should have batters swatting at softballs like their in the middle of a swarm of mad bees.
The Cajuns just don’t only have pitching to depend on though when they need to put runs on the board they have several returning players along with transfers to provide the neccesary offensive firepower. Players like Sarah Hudek (11-HR, 39-RBI), Raina O’Neal (10-HR 36-RBI), Alissa Dalton (4-HR 43-RBI) and Julie Rawls (10-HR 49-RBI).
The team did suffer some player losses from last years team due to graduation that need to be filled. Two of the big ones are replacing the base speed offered last season from outfielder Keeli Milligan who went 60-67 in stolen bases with a .326 BA along with third baseman Kara Gremillion who went 24-26 in stolen bases along with 30 RBIs. Incoming players like, Mia Camuso(Oregon), Geana Torres (Missouri) and Kaitlyn Alderin (Texas A&M) should be able to help fill those holes left by the graduating players.
Will the Ragin’ Cajuns win it all this season? Last year before the season got started I picked UCLA to win it all., which they did. This year I’m gonna step out on the tree limb a little bit and pick the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to take it all and be the 2020 D1 softball champions There are so many things that can happen to change a season like injuries etc… but if this team can stay healthy and play as one this could be a, ‘Cinderella type season’, for both them and their fans come tournament time.