LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette softball team rolled to a 21-2 record against Sun Belt Conference competition this season, and that excellence was reflected in the all-league teams released Tuesday night.
Senior catcher Lexie Elkins made history by becoming the first Sun Belt player to win three consecutive Player of the Year honors. Elkins finished the regular season as the league leader in home runs (17) despite missing 18 games with a broken thumb. She is expected to return for the SBC tournament this week.
Junior pitcher Alex Stewart, who led the league in ERA (1.42) and finished one behind the leader in wins (25), was named Pitcher of the Year. Coach Mike Lotief joined Elkins’ three-year superlative dominance with his third straight Coach of the Year award.
Georgia Southern pitcher Dixie Raley was the only person standing between the Cajuns and a clean sweep of the top awards. She was named the freshman of the year after going 22-13 with a 3.37 ERA.
The Cajuns led the league with seven all-conference selections, six of whom landed on the league’s first team. Joining Elkins and Stewart on the top team are shortstop D.J. Sanders, designated player Sara Corbello and outfielders Aleah Craighton and Shellie Landry. It was the first all-conference selection for Sanders, Corbello and Craighton; for Landry, it was her fourth consecutive honor.
Sanders, Craighton, Landry and Corbello combined to hit 57 of the Cajuns’ NCAA-best 93 home runs. Sanders and Craighton finished with 16 home runs apiece to finish the regular season tied for second in the Sun Belt — one behind Elkins.
Junior second baseman Haley Hayden was the Cajuns’ lone second-team selection. She led the team in hits, batting .366 with seven homers and 42 RBIs.