Amy Hughes, NCAA.com
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns opened the 2011 season with a slew of noteworthy performances. Two freshmen tossed perfect games on opening day in a doubleheader sweep of Rhode Island. Christina Hamilton struck out 10 in her collegiate debut, a 14-0 (5 inn) win in the opener and Shelbee Rodgers K’d seven in her debut, a 20-0 win in five innings.
Ragin’ Cajuns co-head coach Stefni Lotief recorded her 500th career win with a Saturday 14-1 win against Arkansas and her husband and co-head coach Michael Lotief got his 400th career victory in the next game, a 28-0 win versus Prairie View A&M.
Gabriele Bridges earned Sun Belt Player of the Week after hitting .700 on the week with seven home runs, an .85-on-base percentage, 2.800 slugging percentage and 17 RBI on the weekend. She was walked six times, twice intentionally, on the weekend. She was named the NFCA/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for her efforts.
Teammate Ashley Brignac earned conference Pitcher of the Week honors after making two starts last weekend while coming off of a medical redshirt in 2010. Brignac struck out seven while giving up one unearned run over two starts. Louisiana went 5-0 on the weekend while hosting the 25th Annual Louisiana Classics.
Need to Know
• The second-ranked team in the NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll, North Georgia, is off to a 9-0 start to the 2011 season. The Saints captured the Hughston Sports Clinic Classic on the campus of Columbus State (Ga.) during the weekend.
• Arizona State freshman pitcher Dallas Escobedo debuted with a 4-0 record during the weekend including wins against then-No. 22 Oklahoma State and then-No. 6 Oklahoma en route to earning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honors. For the weekend, she pitched 18.1 innings, allowing three earned runs, walking three and striking out 28 with a 1.15 ERA.
• Hofstra sophomore Olivia Galati struck out 10 and had two RBI as she tossed the third no-hitter of her career in a 16-0, five-innings win against UNC Greensboro at the Seminole Kickoff Classic on Friday evening. It was Hofstra’s third opening day no-hitter in the past six years. The Pride won the Seminole Kickoff Classic with a 2-0 win versus No. 23 Florida State as Galati tossed a two-hit shutout in the title game.
• Florida International head coach Beth Torina recorded her 100th career victory on Saturday with a 3-0 victory against North Florida.
• Georgia senior Megan Wiggins became the sixth player in program history to reach 200 career hits in a 7-4 win against Lipscomb. The milestone hit was a two-run game-tying double to lead a six-run sixth inning in the win.
• Tennessee sophomore Raven Chavanne hit .692 (9-for-13) and led the Lady Vols in every offensive category at the Stetson Leadoff Classic, including runs (9), hits (9), doubles (2), home runs (2), RBI (10), stolen bases (4), slugging percentage (1.308) and on-base percentage (.733) en route to SEC Player of the Week honors.
• Alabama senior Kelsi Dunne tossed a no-hitter in her season debut. It was the seventh of her career and her third in a row against Jacksonville State. She K’d 11 in that game and went 2-0 on the weekend striking out 20 in 13 innings.
• Division II’s top team in the poll, Valdosta State, was rained out on opening weekend and posted a doubleheader sweep of Albany State on Friday, winning 11-0 and 15-1.
• Kansas hit five home runs in five games on opening weekend, including grand slams from junior Marissa Ingle and sophomore Maggie Hull. With a 5-0 start, the Jayhawks are off to their best start since 1998.
• Florida senior Stephanie Brombacher tossed the fifth perfect game in Florida history against NC State, striking out six in the 9-0 (5 inn) victory and earning SEC Pitcher of the Week honors.
• South Carolina freshman Julie Sarratt tossed a no-hitter in her collegiate debut, the 44th no-hitter in Gamecocks history and first since 2008. She struck out five and walked one, facing two batters over the minimum while going 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a double in the 5-0 win versus Coastal Carolina.
• Oklahoma sophomore Michelle Gascoigne threw the seventh perfect game in Oklahoma program history on Friday, defeating Appalachian State 8-0 in five innings. She struck out eight of the 15 batters she faced.