LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette softball team’s three solo home runs Sunday against Texas State not only gave it a 3-0 win and a sweep. It also gave the Ragin’ Cajuns 10 home runs in the three-game series.
Haley Hayden, Aleah Craighton and Sara Corbello homered Sunday; Corbello had a homer in each game of the series. That kind of power might have come as a surprise considering the nation’s leading home run hitter, the Cajuns’ Lexie Elkins, was sidelined with a thumb injury for all three games.
“We obviously miss Lexie, but this whole team is really close,” said Corbello, who has now hit a home run in six consecutive Sun Belt Conference games. “We trust each other, and we knew someone would step up. We expected it. We prepare every day for every scenario we might face. We miss Lexie, but we were prepared for it.”
Coach Michael Lotief said the power surge without Elkins contributing didn’t say a whole lot about the lineup — more about the team’s resolve in the face of adversity.
“This team believes in each other,” he said. “That mindset inspires you to keep fighting. When adversity gets in their way, those kids just keep fighting. It is fun to watch and be a part of.”
Alex Stewart was dominant in the circle, allowing one hit and striking out six. She was called for an illegal pitch four times, twice taking outs off the board. She said she knew what she was doing wrong and didn’t disagree with the calls.
“I am crow-hopping,” she said. “It has gotten a lot better, but sometimes I twist my knee. It’s really an easy adjustment, and I have to be better with it. It doesn’t affect my mindset or anything.”
Stewart has five consecutive shutouts in conference play, including two against Texas State this weekend.
Despite the Cajuns’ dominant performance in the series, Lotief said his team skipped a few beats without Elkins. With the slugger expected to miss six weeks, Lotief said that isn’t something he’ll be harping on.
“We will definitely continue to skip a beat without (Elkins),” Lotief said. “What was good about it is that we didn’t worry about it. We just kept competing.
“Adversity is coming your way, and struggle is coming your way. Life’s not fair. What are you going to do when it hits? Sit there and cry, or face it? Just because we had success today doesn’t mean the adversity is gone. It’s still there.
“The mindset and the will to fight has to be there, and that is what we live by. We are going to continue to show up and fight.”