Rajin Cajuns Invade AA for some Red Hot Softball (EDIT: Fri 2pm & Sat Noon)

Submitted by MGoSoftball on May 19th, 2013 at 8:36 PM

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin Cajun softball team comes to AA this weekend for the Super Regional against our beloved Wolverines.

ULL defeated LSU twice, along with Northwestern St and Central Connecticut State.  They are 46-13 (19-4).  They play in the Sun Belt conference.

The Ragin Cajuns have 5 hitters above .300 and 2 above .400.  They have a team batting average of .322 and have 37 HRs.  They are led by Nerissa Myers at .410 and Sarah Draheim at .407.

ULL is a one-trick-pony in terms of pitching.  Jordan Wallace carries the bulk of the load for ULL.  She has a 1.37 ERA, 31-7 record, 26 complete games out of 37 starts and 235 IP out of 359 total IP.  Jordan has an Opp BA of .167.  She has 88 BB and 356 Ks.  She has allowed 22 HRs.  She also has 15 WP and 29 HBP.

The school is known for its Marine Biology program.  They have a requirement of 23 ACT and 1050 SAT composite.

From Wikipedia:

 

Rankings [edit]

University rankings
National
Forbes[31] 230
U.S. News & World Report[32] 205–270
Washington Monthly[33] 248
Global

 

Notable firsts [edit]

  • 1954 - Within months of the Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, SLI admitted 70 African-American students, becoming the first all-white college in the Deep South to racially desegregate.[9]
  • 1961 - Established the first university chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for students. It is named the ACM Alpha Student Chapter[10]
  • 1962 - Offered the first master of science degree in computer science in the U.S.[11]
  • 1994 - Created North America's first francophone studies Ph.D. program.[12]
  • 2007 - The Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment (CAPE) successfully launches the State of Louisiana's first university student built satellite.[13]
  • 2011 - UL Lafayette's College of Liberal Arts became the first public educational institution in Louisiana to offer a minor in LGBT studies.[14]

My prediction, Game 1: M-2... ULL-1.  Game 2: M-4...ULL-2.  Sara will get the MVP for the Tournament.

 

Comments

DISCUSS Man

May 19th, 2013 at 8:41 PM ^

This team is no pushover. They were ranked towards the beginning of the season when Michigan played them and they went into SEC country and knocked off LSU. 

Still think Michigan will sweep though. 

Alton

May 20th, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

That's right--the winner of the Michigan super-regional plays the winner of the Oklahoma super-regional in the first round of the WCWS in Oklahoma City.

However, with the way the double-elimination brackets are set up, it's not impossible for Michigan and Oklahoma to meet each other in the finals.  It would require both of them to come through the losers bracket, but it's possible.

Alton

May 19th, 2013 at 9:36 PM ^

Only 3 of the top 16 seeds failed to advance to the super-regionals this year:

#16 Texas A&M at #1 Oklahoma
UL Lafayette at #8 Michigan
#12 Kentucky at #5 Arizona State
Florida State at #4 Texas
#14 Nebraska at #3 Oregon
#11 Washington at #6 Missouri
#10 Alabama at #7 Tennessee
Alabama-Birmingham at #2 Florida

Dates and times should be announced before noon tomorrow.

Scorekeeper

May 19th, 2013 at 10:26 PM ^

The Cajuns are a good team. Michigan can beat them. We've already done so.  But::

Their pitcher is the real deal. In softball message boards she is mentioned a lot more than our pitchers. In other words, she's a stud.

The Cajuns have been to the WCWS in recent history so they won't be in awe of playing in a super regional.

There are 2 unranked teams in the SR this year - UAB (beat UCLA); and UL (beat LSU). There were several nail biters - FSU barely escaped South Alabama and Hofstra beat Missouri in the first game today.  So, the mid-majors are all formidable.  The mid-majors struggle to be ranked because of the strength of their conferences. UL always slips in rankings once they start playing against their conference opponents.

The Cajuns have good team speed - probably better than us.

We take pride in being a cold weather school with significant contributions from cold weather players (Doyle, Blanchard, Knapp, Dreisenga, Crummey, and Susalla). The Cajun players are primarily from small towns mostly in Louisiana, but Petal Mississippi for two players, and some Texas towns as well.  Wallace is from a suburb of Fort Worth, but most of these players are from places more like Reed City, MI.

Our tough regional helped us; better to play 2 games vs Cal rather than the #2 seeds we usually face. But UL has also had the same experience. They were in a tough regional and beat LSU twice.

justingoblue

May 20th, 2013 at 7:45 AM ^

ULL is one of the better mid-majors of the past decade; them beating LSU is probably more impressive than Michigan beating Cal with Henderson hurt. I didn't get to see much of the Ann Arbor or Baton Rouge regionals, but I'm hoping to catch up in the next few days.

VCavman24

May 19th, 2013 at 10:37 PM ^

This is slightly off topic, but does anyone have any footage from the 2005 WCWS?  There used to be a few short highlight clips on YouTube, but those have disappeared.

superstringer

May 20th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

While I keep track of the WSB's team's exploits, I'm only starting to pay attention to the details of the game b/c my oldest daughter is starting to play the game.

So I saw some EPN clip last night and they talked about a "drop" pitch, IIRC.  Is that like the softball version of a curve ball?  Is it the spin on the ball that makes it do that (meaning, yes, it's a curve but by another name)?

And more generally, what are the stable of pitches for softball -- is there an equivalent to the fastball, curve, knuckle, slider, change-up, etc etc?  My sense is, it's not so, that there are only 2-3 types of pitches in softball, but its ultimately speed/location that makes the difference?

MGoSoftball

May 20th, 2013 at 2:56 PM ^

is very similar (but not exactly) to the curve in baseball.  I could get into the physics with you but I'm an engineer and I love geeky things like this.

Basically as the pitcher releases the ball, she rolls her wrist.  I teach my pitchers to "turn the door knob" (counterclock wise for RHP).

The index finger should be in full contact with the seams.  As the ball is released, the follow through will force the arm to come across the body as opposed to the fast ball where the hand/wrist will follow through up to the neck/face area.

The ball will have severe rotation.  The ball will develop high and low pressures around the ball surface.  If enough rotation (and speed) are acheived, the ball will "drop".  This is very similar to a "stall" in an airplane.  There is not enough pressure to hold the weight and the high pressure will cause the ball to move down.

The "rise" ball is just the opposite of the drop although very difficult to master.  The ball starts off at the hip of the pitcher.  As the ball is gaining velocity and rotation, the ball bites into the air molecules and "climbs the ladder".  The batter sees the ball at the letters but when she swings, the ball is up around her chin.  Typically the batter misses the rise ball.  Ashley Lane is probably the best rise ball hitter that I have ever seen. She will at least get a piece of the ball to foul it off.

Alabama's Jackie Traina is a master of the rise ball.  I counted every pitch in the WS.  From my vantage point (my lay-z-boy) she threw about 33% of her pitches in the strike zone.  Most of her strike outs were from batters chasing the high ball.  Even Ashley struck out a few times on the rise ball.

Most people do not understand the game of softball.  Many think that a high pitch is the sign of a pitcher losing control.  FALSE.  A good pitcher will throw the rise ball until she walks two batters in one inning.  Then she will mix up her pitches a little more.  Teams have figured out Traina and now force her to throw pitcher in the strike zone where it can be hit.

 

superstringer

May 20th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

My undergraduate degree is in Aerospace Engineering from the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, so, don't worry about being too-geeky in discussing the details.

I never really thought a softball was susceptible to curve dynamics -- the seems and surface are way more smooth than a baseball, plus the extra surface area means the percentage of turbulent flow would be proportionately less than a baseball.  As I think about it, the larger surface area creates an overall more laminar flow, which without the benefit of wind tunnel testing makes me think that it sends to smooth out the airflow.

So, all that says to me, a girl REALLY has to CRANK the ball hard, to obtain a ton of spin, to get sufficiently pronounced effect to deflect the path of the ball through a differential in air pressure.

Now -- can't the batter see this difference in arm motion, when the pitch is released, and thus be able to predict when the ball will drop?

MGoSoftball

May 20th, 2013 at 4:59 PM ^

that softball seams are higher and larger surface area compared to a baseball.

YES!!!!!  You hit the nail on the head.  The batter CAN see the pitch.  However the reaction time is actually less in softball than baseball.  The plate to the front edge of the mound is exactly 43' by rule.  However, the ball is typically released 3~5 feet in front of the mound via the foot drag and forward leap.  So the pitch is released at about 37'.  A good college pitcher is up around 67 or 68 MPH.  So 68 MPH = almost 100 feet per second.  100 fps @ 37 feet is 370 miliseconds. 

Now keep in mind that the batters swing is about 100-200 miliseconds so the batter has about 200 milliseconds to decide to swing.  This is why good pitching beats good hitting every time.  Most good teams hit about .300~.350.

A good baseball pitcher is about 92 MPH = 135 FPS.  But baseball mound is at 60'6" and they do not get the benefit of the foot drag.  So 135 fps @ 60'6" is about 450 miliseconds.

MICHIGAN SOFTB…

May 23rd, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

 

Good luck to the Michigan softball team this weekend, hopefully they can move on to the WCWS, but they have been to Supers before.   Behind Haylie Wagner's pitching last year, they had to face the eventual WCWS champions, Alabama, in the super regionals away from home.  I do believe if they had been at home last year, they would have been able to beat Bama and move on, but the hitting wasn't there last year as this and the team had to rely on pitching alot last year.  Last year it seemed it was a given that Sara would be the go to pitcher, but things didn't work out that way, Haylie stepped into that role as a freshman and had a fantastic year, beating Michigan records and getting Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the year, she did some amazing things.  With her being hurt this year and missing 19 + games, Sara had to step up into that position and she has done an amazing job also.  If Haylie had not been injured early on, this MIchigan team would have been unstoppable.  Even injured, Haylie had 18 wins and only 3 losses, but she still wasn't where she should have been, compared to last season.  With two healthy pitchers next year, this team will for sure win another Big 10 Championship and go very far again in playoffs.  This team does not rely on one or two players, as all the media seems to say, to win games.  This is a team, not a team of one or two, but a team of very dedicated girls that love the sport of softball.  Every girl on the team is vital to its success, and whether they are playing or cheering from the dugout, they are all important piece of this team.  Good luck girls, we believe in you! GO BLUE!