LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette softball team returned to Lamson Park for the first time in two weeks, and the Cajuns looked right at home on Saturday.
Left fielder Shellie Landry hit a home run in each of the Cajuns’ blowout wins — 13-4 and 14-2 — against Appalachian State.
Landry said the Cajuns, whose road trip included a tough three-game series against Florida last weekend, were ager to get back on the field.
“We were anxious and ready to play,” Landry said. “We were excited to be off the road and be back home. It is both mentally and physically exhausting, but it is part of the process and part of what makes you a champion. We embrace it and make the best of it.”
Cajuns coach Michael Lotief said getting back on the field and putting things together after the three losses in Gainesville, Florida, was a big step to moving forward.
“It’s never going to be fixed in one week or one practice,” Lotief said. “It is going to be incremental. I liked getting back on the field and getting after it together. You can work on things in the cages and in the bullpen, but at some point, you have to get back on the field.”
The Cajuns hit six home runs in the doubleheader to extend their home winning streak to 16 games, scoring nine runs in the second inning of game one and 11 runs in the second inning of game two.
Lotief said he was pleased his team made the Mountaineers offense a non-factor in the game.
“(Appalachian State) is one of the top three hitting teams in the conference, but offensively, we can swing, too,” Lotief said. “We had some kids who are going through some things, but the lineup has been solid all season. Put Lexie Elkins back in that lineup and see — and she’ll be back soon.”
Alex Stewart started both games and picked wins in each. Kylee Jo Trahan relieved in her in game one but struggled, allowing three earned runs in her one inning.
Lotief said it didn’t look good, but he said he was pleased with Trahan’s progress and is optimistic moving forward.
“It didn’t look good, but it is good,” Lotief said. “It didn’t look good on the field, but I think some of the progress we made today was a good thing. (Trahan) hit the bottom and now she’s going to bounce back up.
“You have to hit bottom to bounce back. People don’t like to hit it, but you have to and I promise you she will bounce back. That kid is very talented and has a bright future. We are going to stand behind her.”
Lotief said he liked the team’s focus Saturday and said last weekend’s series loss isn’t hindering their progress.
“We have good kids that work hard, and more importantly, they care,” Lotief said. “They care about winning, and they care about being better. They care about each other and the pride of this program. It’s a tough game to play, and you’re never going to do it perfectly. You just have to keep grinding, and somehow it’s going to work out for you.”