LAFAYETTE — He didn’t want to hear any excuses about a so-called quick turnaround.
Louisiana-Lafayette softball coach Michael Lotief said making a big deal about the Ragin’ Cajuns playing six games in five days was “boloney.”
The Cajuns swept Texas-Arlington on Friday and Saturday and completed a sweep of Georgia Southern with 12-1 and 9-0 wins in a doubleheader Tuesday at Lamson Park. Lotief said the Cajuns’ six wins in five days can be attributed to their mindset, and the experience will prepare the team for later in the season.
“We have to do it on the road later,” Lotief said, alluding to the Cajuns back-to-back road trips at Appalachian State and Oregon next month.
“In this game, the team that is tough enough is going to come out on top. I didn’t think it was that hard (Tuesday) or this weekend. We have some tough kids, and we train them to get rest and come out with a tough approach.”
The Cajuns got three home runs in the 9-0 night-cap win — two from Lexie Elkins, who ended the game with a homer in the sixth. Elkins has 11 home runs on the year and said she has changed nothing about her approach from her early-season woes.
“I am 100 percent sure I have the same plan and same approach I had the first weekend,” Elkins said. “I’m having a little success now, but it’s the same plan. My teammates are helping me get better and I am just playing free.”
Lotief said Elkins’ timing was off earlier this season, but she’s now close to getting back to her 2014 form. Lotief said Elkins, who was a combined 6-for-10 with six RBIs in the series, has to start understanding her full potential.
“In practice, Lexie puts them in the trees,” Lotief said. “She has to figure out that every at-bat, that pitcher is in harm’s way. They dink and dunk with her and when she figures that out, they’ll quit dinking and dunking her.”
After a rocky start Monday, Jordan Wallace had a stellar pitching performance in the second game Tuesday, pitching six innings, giving up just three hits and striking out eight. Lotief said he knew she was going to pitch well Tuesday. Elkins said Wallace’s approach in the circle is a lot like her own at the plate.
“It’s the same thing with my hitting where I was cold; now I’m hot,” Elkins said. “It’s just the way the game rolls.”
Now that the tough stretch is complete and the Cajuns got through it unscathed, Elkins said she is relieved at how well the team responded.
“It was tough having that many games in a short time,” Elkins said. “Everyone came in with a good mindset, ready to play and focused and we played well.”