Games 31-33: Troy (21-8-1, 2-0-1 Sun Belt) vs. ULM (18-12, 2-1 Sun Belt)
Friday March 24 | 13 o’clock
Saturday March 25 | 14 o’clock
Sunday March 26 | 12 o’clock
ULM Softball Complex (500) | Monroe, La.
All games streamed live on ESPN+
2023 ULM Softball Series Notes vs. Troy
• Friday’s game marks the 52nd meeting between ULM and Troy. The Trojans lead the all-time streak 33-18, including a 13-7 record in games in Monroe, Louisiana. Troy has won six of the last seven meetings in the series. Last season, the Warhawks won the opening game of the series 1-0 away, but the Trojans won the next two games, 9-1 and 6-4, to win the series 2-1. ULM’s last win of the Sun Belt Conference series against Troy came in 2017, 2-1 on the road.
• The ULM softball team opened its 2023 Sun Belt Conference schedule with a 2-1 Road Series win at Georgia Southern.
The Warhawks secured the series win with a double-header sweep in Statesboro last Friday. In Game 1, ULM got all the offense it needed in a six-run second inning Gianni Hulett threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings to relief for a 6-3 win over the Eagles in the conference opener. Three Warhawk Pitchers – Cassidy Giddens, Adrianna Chavarria and Hulett – combined for a four-hit shutout as ULM won Game 2 2-0.
Georgia Southern avoided the series sweep as Morgan Kendrick scattered five hits over seven innings and Janai Conklin broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the fifth inning as the Eagles clinched a 3-1 win last Saturday.
• Three Warhawks beat above .290, led by KennedyJohnson (.349; 30 of 86, 22 runs scored, 12 RBI), followed by Lourdes bacon (.337; 34 of 101, 12 runs scored, 10 RBI) and Ashlan Ard (.293; 22 of 75, 4 home runs, 19 RBI).
• KennedyJohnson leads the Warhawks in four offensive categories: batting average (.349), runs scored (22), total bases (42), and on-base percentage (.398). Johnson also ranks second on the team for hits (30) and slugging percent (.488). She has recorded eight multi-hit games.
• As a team, ULM leads the Sun Belt and ranks 11th in the NCAA Division I with a field rating of .979.
• Lourdes bacon leads ULM in hits (34), multi-hit plays (9), and stolen bases (16). Additionally, Bacon ranks second on the team for batting average (.337), runs scored (12), and on-base percentage (.380). The junior from San Antonio, Texas, is among the Sun Belt Conference leaders in stolen bases (third place) and hits (ninth place). Bacon is also among the NCAA Division I leaders in both categories: 28th in steals and 88th in hits. Earlier this season, she compiled a team-best hitting streak in nine games (ending March 4 in Game 1 of the doubleheader at Nicholls).
• Ashlan Ard leads the team in home runs (4), RBI (19), and slugging percent (.533).
In the inaugural series of the Sun Belt Conference in Georgia Southern, Ard had a .400 batting average (4 of 10), a .800 slugging percentage (two singles, doubles, and home runs for a total of 8 bases), and a .455 base percentage.
Ard, who scored safely in each of the three games, went 4-1 in ULM’s 6-3 win over Georgia Southern in Game 1 of last Friday’s doubleheader and recorded her fifth multi-hit game of the season in Game 2 and ended it 2-for-4 with an RBI singles in ULM’s 2-0 win over the Eagles.
She went 1-2 in the series finals against Georgia Southern, including a solo home run into left centerfield that leveled the score at 1-1 in the fourth inning.
FROM THE CIRCLE
• Three cans – Gianni Hulett (7-3, 2.27 ERA, team-leading 39 strikeouts), Adrianna Chavarria (5-2, 2.32 ERA, 35 strikeouts) and Victoria Abrams (3-3, 3.09 ERA, 38 strikeouts) – have pitched 167 1/3 innings combined.
Hulett leads the Sun Belt Conference in saves (6, tied with Coastal Carolina’s Nicolette Picone), strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.80; 39 strikeouts, 5 walks), and walks allowed per seven innings (0, 54) on. She also ranks among the NCAA Division I leaders in all three categories: second in saves, fifth in walks allowed per seven innings, and 20th in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hulett notched five wins – all facilitated – and one save over a span of six appearances.
Southeast Louisiana 4, ULM 2
Wednesday March 22nd
North Oak Park | Hammond, La.
WP: KK Ladner (7-1); LP: Gianni Hulett (7-3)
Important statistics: Campbell Selman 1-3, run scored, 2B, RBI | Madison Blount 1-3 | Jacelyn Buck 1-2
Maddie Nichols 4.0 IP (Matched Season High), 1 unearned run, 3 hits, 3 strikeouts
Audrey Greely doubled on the go-ahead run at the bottom of the sixth while relieved KK Ladner went 2 2/3 innings scoreless as Southeastern Louisiana clinched a 4-2 win over ULM on Wednesday night (March 22) at North Oak Park .
Southeastern (23-7) went 1-0 up by the end of the second inning. With an out, Bailey Krolcyzk doubled from the ULM starting pitcher to left midfield Maddie Nichols. Krolczyk scored when Maddie Watson reached the shortstop after a throwing error.
SLU starting pitcher Cera Blanchard retired the first 13 straight Warhawk batters.
With a way in the top of the fifth, Madison Blount became ULM’s first baserunner after singulating the left field line. Campbell Selman An RBI double to direct midfield followed, scoring the pinch runner Cassidy Giddens from first base. After the back-to-back hits, Ladner replaced Blanchard in the circle. Selman, who moved up to third in the attempted play at the plate on Giddens, scored on a squeeze bunt by Madelyn Fletcher to give the Warhawks a 2-1 lead. Jacelyn Buck registered ULM’s third hit of the inning with a single to left center. With runners in second and third place, Ladner struck Lourdes bacon to prevent further damage.
Nichols worked the first four innings for the Warhawks, allowing an unearned run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Adrianna Chavarria relieved Giddens in the fifth inning and pulled back the first two batters before giving up the ball Gianni Hulettwho recorded the final out of frame on a ground ball to second baseman.
The Lions rallied for three three-hit runs at the end of the sixth. Madison Rayner made a four-pitch walk to open the inning. Pinch runner Britt Bourgoyne moved up to third place after a sacrificial bunt and groundout. Watson smashed the first pitch of her at-bat into right field for an RBI single and scored on Bourgoyne from third place to tie the score at 2-all. Greely delivered an RBI double into left midfield which Watson scored as Southeastern finally reclaimed the lead at 3-2. On the seventh pitch of their at-bat, Maddie Leal prevailed with the Lions’ third straight hit, another RBI double into the left center gap, and scored Greely from second place for a 4-2 advantage.
Ladner, who beat the seventh-place team to improve their record on the season to 7-1, allowed just one hit over 2 2/3 innings and fanned out seven of the 10 ULM batters she faced.
Blanchard threw 4 1/3 innings and allowed two runs with two hits without walks and two strikeouts.
Gianni (7-3), who went 1 1/3 innings relieved and took the loss to ULM (18-12), gave up three runs on three hits with a walk and no strikeouts.
Southeastern defeated ULM 6-3, with Krolczyk (2-on-3) and Greely (2-on-3) scoring four.