NOTICE: The views expressed in The Vermilion's opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Vermilion staff or of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

OPINION — The Ragin’ Cajuns softball team has been amazing in recent years. This season, however, has been extra impressive. Up until April 17, the team has been on a 17-game win streak. This is almost as grand as the 29-game win streak back in 2019. 

The team has beaten the likes of South Alabama, Georgia Southern, Troy and more. Considering the state of the pandemic still going on, this is even more monumental. The team’s current record is 33-7 with only two conference losses, and they’ll still be playing until mid-May. 

So what exactly has been in the winning formula for Louisiana? Sure there are a few 1-0 wins, but the majority of these wins are high scoring, such as 9-0 or 13-1. Well, in my opinion, it’s a combination of player talent and good coaching. 

Head Coach Gerry Glasco is one of the top recruiters and offensive coaches in the nation. He has years of experience and knows how to get results from his players. He was named the 2019 Sun Belt Conference and Louisiana Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year. 

Glasco’s win-loss record at Louisiana also shows just how good he is. Since he’s been with Louisiana he’s recorded 93 wins and 22 losses, as well as 46 wins and six losses in conference play. In fact, Louisiana had the Top 10 nationally-ranked scoring offense and earned run average in 2019 with Glasco’s leadership. 

When you look at his recruiting efforts you know that he’s always planning ahead for the future. Similar to Head Coach Billy Napier of the Ragin’ Cajuns football team, Glasco is a recruiting beast. For example, Glasco may know he’s losing one of his best pitchers this season, but he’s already thinking about the next pitcher to recruit to take on that position in the future. And this attitude isn’t just for the pitcher, it’s for every player and position he has on the field. Under Glasco’s direction, there have been no seasons that had subpar players playing on the field. 

Taking a look at standout players that propelled the winning efforts, there are a few that stick out. Summer Ellyson is Louisiana’s star pitcher. Prior to this season, Ellyson made another appearance on the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List. She was also chosen as the pre-season Pitcher of the Year and named on the Pre-season All-Sun Belt team. 

Alissa Dalton is an all-around ace. She also made the Pre-season All-Sun Belt team, along with being named as the preseason Player of the Year. 

Ciara Bryan is an excellent batter. Bryan was chosen to represent Louisiana on D1Softball's Preseason All-America Team and was a first-team selection. Along with Ellyson and Dalton, she also made the Pre-season All-Sun Belt team. 

Prior to the season, the softball team was ranked in the top 10 by ESPN and USA Today. They have lived up to that ranking with this season’s success. Ultimately, it’s a team effort and like I said, with Glasco at the helm, each and every player has the skills needed to be a great player for the Cajuns.

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