LAFAYETTE, La. — No. 17 Louisiana-Lafayette received two stellar pitching debuts as they took two games from Rhode Island to open the 2011 season at the 25th Annual Louisiana Classic. The Rajun’ Cajuns defeated the Rams 14-0 in the first game behind a perfect game from freshman Christina Hamilton. They then took out Rhode Island 20-0 thanks to a perfect game from fellow freshman Shelbee Rodgers.
The Cajuns got their season underway with a match-up against Rhode Island and Hamilton stole the show. Hamilton threw eight pitches, all for strikes, while breezing through the first inning of her collegiate career. The freshman continued to roll, as she retired all 15 Rams she faced, throwing a perfect game in her collegiate debut. Hamilton threw all five innings for the Cajuns, striking out 10.
ULL scored their 14 runs on only nine hits but used 12 walks to their advantage. The Cajuns waited until just the second inning to get the scoring underway. Paige Cormier and Megan Granger each drew four pitch walks to get on base with one out in the inning. The Cajuns loaded the bases after Katie Smith delivered an infield bunt single.
ULL leadoff hitter Nerissa Myers then singled down the left field line, plating Cormier and Granger. The Cajuns would then use three more walks to score three more runs, and after sending 10 players to the plate in the inning, ULL led 4-0.
Louisiana added seven more runs in the third inning, extending their lead to 11-0. After Cormier reached on an error and Granger flied out, a Smith single and a Myers walked loaded the bases with one out. Erikka Murphy reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to plate the first run of inning, leaving the bases loaded.
Christi Orgeron then laced a double to left center field, clearing the bases and extending the lead to 8-0. The Cajuns lone senior Gabriele Bridges drew a walk to put two runners on.
Cajuns cleanup hitter Taryn Broussard came to the plate next, and in her first game at Lamson Park, the sophomore transfer blasted a three-run homer to left field.
The Cajuns scratched across another run in the fourth thanks to a Brianna Cherry sacrifice fly that scored Granger, who double earlier in the inning.
The Cajuns added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning thanks to two hits and two walks. Martin and Natalie Fernandez drew leadoff walks which set the table for an RBI double by Sarah Draheim. Granger then hit an RBI single that gave the Cajuns their final 14-0 lead.
The Cajuns saw yet another freshman step up in the circle in the second game as Shelbee Rodgers threw her own perfect game as the Cajuns took their second contest from Rhode Island 20-0.
Rodgers took the lead of her fellow freshman, going through the Rams in order in the first inning, striking out two. The Greenwell Springs native finished with seven strikeouts in her five innings of perfect work.
The Cajuns pounded out 17 hits in game two. Myers and Orgeron each had three hits for the Cajuns while Bridges had two hits, both home runs.
The ULL bats came to life early in the second match-up with Rhode Island, as the Cajuns scored six runs in the first inning. Myers and Orgeron each hit singles, then a wild pitch and a passed ball scored both, giving the Cajuns a 2-0 lead.
After a Bridges walk and a Broussard double, Draheim drove both runs in with an RBI single. Cormier and Smith each added an RBI base hit to complete the Cajuns six-run inning in the first.
ULL added a single run in the second inning thanks to a Bridges home run to deep left field. The hit was Bridges first of the day after being walked in all four of her previous plate appearances.
The Cajuns added seven more runs in third inning, extending the lead to 14-0. UL plated the seven runs thanks to just two hits as the Cajuns drew four walks and collected a hit batter. One of the two hits was another left field homer by Bridges. This one plated two runs for the Cajuns and gave the senior first baseman 46 home runsfor her career, the fifth most ever by a Cajun.
ULL added six more runs in the fourth inning behind seven singles, leading to the final score of 20-0.