Mary Landrieu’s advice to Cajuns: Go get ’em ... and don’t shave _lowres

Advocate file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- UL-Lafayette shortstop Blake Trahan fields a grounder during practice at M.L. 'Tigue' Moore Field in Lafayette.

Coaches selected the UL-Lafayette softball and baseball teams repeat as winners of the Sun Belt Conference this season, and a trio of players were recognized as preseason players of the year.

Junior shortstop Blake Trahan was named baseball’s preseason Player of the Year, while the softball team captured both honors, with junior catcher Lexie Elkins earning preseason Player of the Year honors, and senior pitcher Christina Hamilton being named preseason Pitcher of the Year.

The baseball team received eight of 11 first-place votes to run away with the preseason title, earning 20 more points on the ballot than Texas State, who was tabbed to finish second in the league.

The recognition is nice, but isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things to coach Tony Robichaux.

“Polls, especially the early ones, don’t mean a whole lot,” Robichaux said in a news release. “The most important poll is the one at the end of the season. We appreciate that the coaches in the league recognize our potential, but potential doesn’t win you championships.”

The softball team received seven of nine first-place votes, and narrowly edged South Alabama by five points to earn the top spot in the preseason rankings.

“The (Sun Belt) conference part of our schedule is something that we always enjoy, and it something over the years, it’s been fun to compete for those honors and a championship,” softball coach Michael Lotief said. “I think this year is going to be very competitive and the kids are excited about what’s in front of us.”

Trahan was pegged as the SBC’s preseason Player of the Year after hitting .355 with 12 doubles and 49 RBI for the Cajuns a year ago. He was named a first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and earned second-team honors from Perfect Game and Baseball America.

This is the latest in a string of preseason honors for Trahan, who was also tabbed as a preseason All-American by Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball.

Dylan Butler, who hit .298 with six home runs a year ago, joined Trahan on the preseason All-SBC team. The Cajuns were one of five teams to put two players on the preseason all conference team.

“It’s great to see Butler get recognition for the hard work that he has put in over the last three years here, and then of course (Trahan) and the work he has put in the last two years,” Robichaux said.

The selection of Elkins and Hamilton as preseason players of the year didn’t come as much of a surprise, since they both are the reigning players of the year in the conference.

Elkins socked 24 homers in her first year in a Cajuns uniform — second most in the country — while also driving in 79 runs a year ago.

Hamilton fired 23 complete games in 2014 and finished the year with a league-high 29 wins.

The softball team finished with a league-high four players on the preseason all-conference team. Joining Hamilton and Elkins were second baseman Hayley Hayden and outfielder Shellie Landry as at-large players.

Softball kicks off its season at home February 6-8, where it will host three other teams in the Louisiana Classic tournament. The baseball team begins the 2015 season with four road games, starting with a three-game series at UT-San Antonio.

Texas State junior Lucas Humpal was named the baseball preseason Pitcher of the Year.



1. UL-Lafayette (8) 114

2. Texas State (1) 94

3. Arkansas State 87

4. UT-Arlington 80

5. Troy 78

6. Georgia Southern (2) 77

7. South Alabama 71

8. Georgia State 35

9. UL Monroe 34

10. UALR 31

11. Appalachian State 25


1. UL-Lafayette (7) 79

2. South Alabama (2) 74

3. Georgia State 57

4. Texas State 48

5. Georgia Southern 44

6. Troy 37

7. UL Monroe 27

8. UT Arlington 24

9. Appalachian State 15



SP: David Owen, Arkansas State

SP: Kevin Hill, South Alabama

SP: Lucas Humpal, Texas State

RP: Marc Skinner, Troy

C: Joey Roach, Georgia State

1B: Matt Burgess, Arkansas State

2B: Darien McLemore, UT Arlington

SS: Blake Trahan, UL-Lafayette

3B: Matt Rose, Georgia State

OF: Aaron Mizell, Georgia Southern

OF: Dylan Butler, UL-Lafayette

OF: Cole Gleason, South Alabama

DH: David Hall, Troy

UTIL: Cory Geisler, Texas State

Player of the Year

Blake Trahan, UL-Lafayette

Pitcher of the Year

Lucas Humpal, Texas State


P: Christina Hamilton, UL-Lafayette

P: Farish Beard, South Alabama

C: Lexie Elkins, UL-Lafayette

1B: Lauren Coleman, Georgia State

2B: Miyuki Navarrete, UL-Monroe

SS: Taylor Anderson, Georgia State

3B: Courtney Harris, Texas State

OF: Rochelle Roberts, UL-Monroe

OF: Blair Johnson, South Alabama

OF: Stephanie Pilkington, South Alabama

DP: Kortney Koroll, Texas State

At-Large: Taylor Rogers, Georgia Southern; Haley Hayden, UL-Lafayette; Shellie Landry UL-Lafayette; Alexis Cacioppo, UL-Monroe

Player of the Year

Lexie Elkins, UL-Lafayette

Pitcher of the Year

Christina Hamilton, UL-Lafayette