Catcher Lexie Elkins has made quick impact for Cajuns _lowres

Advocate photo by LEE CELANO ULL pitcher Christina Hamilton, left, celebrates a run against Oklahoma with teammate Lexie Elkins on March 15 in Lafayette.

LAFAYETTE — If there ever were transition issues for Lexie Elkins, Louisiana-Lafayette softball coach Michael Lotief didn’t notice.

Elkins, a sophomore catcher, made the switch from Texas Tech transfer to UL-Lafayette starter without apparent difficulty, as she has solidified a position that was in question at the start of the season.

“It was a Godsend,” Lotief said of Elkins’ arrival as the Cajuns began their preseason preparations. “The transition there was really good. In the fall, Lexie jumped right in and never had any problems. She felt comfortable there from Day 1. She’s really a special kid.”

Elikins, named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, has played key offensive and defensive roles for UL-Lafayette (28-6-1, 9-0), which had its nonconference game Wednesday at Northwestern State (17-17, 6-7) rained out.

UL-Lafayette lost three-year starter Sarah Draheim who used up her eligibility at catcher at the end of last season.

Lotief said the Cajuns knew about Elkins, who signed with Texas Tech after her early commitment two years ago.

The details for transferring UL-Lafayette is something Lotief said he couldn’t discuss with any clarity.

“She was on our radar, but she was early-committed to Texas Tech,” he said. “We got her after we went through the compliance protocol. We got permission to talk to her and then we contacted her previous coaches like we always do and we started the dialogue from there.”

Elkins has become a key part of the Cajuns both offensively and defensively.

“(Catcher) was a position need for us and not only has (Elkins) filled that position, defensively, but we have her doing what she’s done offensively too,” Lotief said.

Elkins, who normally bats third, is hitting .374 with 41 RBIs.

In the Cajuns’ three-game sweep of SBC rival Western Kentucky, Elkins batted .500 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

The UL-Lafayette sweep of WKU put the Cajuns in first place in the SBC. South Alabama, which travels to Lafayette for a three-game series starting Saturday, is 8-2 in conference games, while WKU is 6-3.