LAFAYETTE — Louisiana-Lafayette catcher Lexie Elkins came into this season with a bevy of accolades — quite different from how she entered 2014.
The junior entered the Ragin’ Cajuns program after a quiet freshman year at Texas Tech, one that saw her hit zero home runs. It’s safe to say the 24 home runs she hit last season — the second-highest total in the country — were a bit of a bonus.
She homered twice in the Lafayette regional against Texas; she homered twice in the super regionals against Arizona; and she homered twice in the Women’s College World Series. She earned All-America honors, the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award and was named the hitter of the year and newcomer of the year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
This season, Elkins has seemingly picked up where she left off, batting .420 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs. Associate head coach T.J. Hubbard said it’s pretty hard to compare to what she did in 2014, but he admitted that Elkins is in a pretty good place thus far.
“She was pretty locked in last year at this time and then going into the postseason,” Hubbard said. “I’m not one to really look back too much, but she’s locked in right now. She is seeing the ball well and doing all the things you need your best hitters to do.”
Hubbard said Elkins is the spark to the Cajuns offense, and that was quite evident in the past two series.
In the past six games against Texas State and Georgia State, Elkins was 11-of-18 with seven home runs. Hubbard said her performance and her leadership is pushing the entire team to be better.
“She has been the biggest contributor as far as hits and RBIs,” Hubbard said. “She is right in the middle of that lineup and she is pushing them to get better.
“There’s a good amount of rivalry between those kids. Their biggest concern is that the team wins, but they push each other. We have some of the most talented kids you could ask for at (Nos.) 1-5. At any time, if one of them is struggling the other picks up the slack.”
Rain in the area forced the Ragin’ Cajuns softball team to cancel its series opener with Baylor on Friday.
The Cajuns (30-5) and Bears (29-7) will play a doubleheader at noon Saturday. Before the first game, the Cajuns will honor their senior class.
Baylor’s travel considerations prevented a third game from potentially being played Sunday. This is the Cajuns’ last weekend series of the season. The only other scheduled home game is at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Houston.