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Softball: Elkins Picks Up Sun Belt Player of the Week Award

LAFAYETTE – Lexie Elkins was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week on Monday, the league announced, after hitting .529 and not striking out in 21 plate appearances during the No. 7 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball series with Georgia Southern and Troy at Lamson Park.
Elkins finished 9-for-17 at the plate with two doubles, three home runs and eight RBI during the six-game stretch. 
She posted at least one hit in all six contests and at least one RBI in four of the six outings. Five of her nine hits went for extra bases as she slugged 1.176.
Elkins is the first Cajuns hitter named SBC Player of the Week in 2015.  It’s the fourth time a Cajuns player receives a weekly honor this season, adding to a combined three SBC Pitcher of the Week awards claimed by the combination of Jordan Wallace (Feb. 16, Mar. 16) and Christina Hamilton (Feb. 23).
The junior catcher picked up her third career player of the week honor. She received the award twice in 2014 (Feb. 10 and Apr. 7).
"I thought we had a core group of hitters do a great job over the past couple of series," Louisiana softball head coach Michael Lotief said. "And there is no doubt that Lexie is in the middle of that charge and locked in. These kids feed off of each other."
The preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year and USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List member played a key part in the Cajuns twinbill sweep of Georgia Southern last Tuesday, finishing 5-of-7 at the plate with a double, two home runs and six RBI. She registered her third multi-home run game of the season in the nightcap.
A two-run double in the second inning of the opener pushed the Cajuns lead to 5-1. The first of her pair of two-run homers in the finale broke a scoreless tie in the third inning, while the second enforced the mercy rule in the sixth inning.
"Hitting is such a difficult skill to master," Lotief remarked. "The ball is released at 36 feet away at speeds in the mid-60s to the low-40s. That’s like hitting a 100-mile per hour fastball followed by an 80-mile per hour change.
"Lexie makes it look so easy at times," Lotief added. "But, we appreciate how skilled she is and the tremendous hand-eye she possesses and her raw power combined with her passion and understanding of the game."
The Victoria, Texas, native recorded a hit each game of the Troy series to close out the week with a season-long, six-game hitting streak.
Her home run in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader extended the Ragin’ Cajuns lead to 6-3 in the fifth inning. Elkins walked to load the bases in the first inning of Sunday’s contest to set the stage for a seven-run frame.
"We know that this is an individual award and are so proud of Lexie," Lotief mentioned. "We also understand that it is not possible without so many great hitters and teammates around her."
The Sun Belt Conference also awarded UT Arlington’s Haley Henson SBC Player of the Week distinction, sharing the honor with Elkins.
No. 7 Louisiana (25-4, 10-2 Sun Belt) travels to San Marcos, Texas, to meet Texas State in a Sun Belt series at Bobcat Softball Stadium for the first time. Games are scheduled for 1 p.m. (DH) on Saturday and Noon on Sunday.
2015: Lexie Elkins (3/23)
2014: Lexie Elkins (2/10); Natalie Fernandez (3/24); Lexie Elkins (4/7)
2013: Brianna Cherry (2/25); Nerissa Myers (4/8); Nerissa Myers (4/29)
2012: Christi Orgeron (2/13); Christi Orgeron (2/20); Nerissa Myers (3/5); Nerissa Myers (3/19); Christi Orgeron (3/26); Christi Orgeron (4/23)
2011: Gabriele Bridges (2/14); Christi Orgeron (3/7); Gabriel Bridges (3/21); Christi Orgeron (4/18); Gabriele Bridges (5/2); Gabriele Bridges (5/9)
2010: Vallie Gaspard (2/15); Christi Orgeron (3/8); Christi Orgeron (3/29)
2009: Gabriele Bridges (2/16); Karli Hubbard (3/16); Gabriele Bridges (4/6); Christi Orgeron (4/20); Christi Orgeron (4/27)
2008: Melissa Verde (2/11); Holly Tankersley (3/10); Holly Tankersley (4/14)
2007: Codi Runyan (2/12); Holly Tankersley (2/19); Holly Tankersley (2/26); Holly Tankersley (3/12); Holly Tankersley (3/19); Melissa Verde (4/23)
2006: Danyele Gomez (2/14); Danyele Gomez (2/21); Danyele Gomez (4/3); Danyele Gomez (4/10); Danyele Gomez (4/24); Codi Runyan (5/8)
2005: Jill Robertson (2/21); Crystal George (3/14); Jill Robertson (4/18); Danyele Gomez (4/25); Danyele Gomez (5/2)
2004: Holly Tankersley (2/17); Holly Tankersley (3/2); Holly Tankersley (4/5); Holly Tankersley (5/3)
2003: Becky McMurtry (3/4); Danyele Gomez (3/13); Becky McMurtry (4/7); Danyele Gomez (4/14); Becky McMurtry (5/5)
2002: Alana Addison (3/18); Becky McMurtry (3/25); Jerie Alexander (4/1); Alana Addison (4/15); Missy Martin (4/22); Becky McMurtry (4/29)
2001: Alana Addison (3/19); Missy Martin (3/26); Alana Addison (4/2); Jerie Alexander (4/23); Jana Mower (4/30)
2000: Tiffany Clark (3/13); Alana Addison (3/27); Jana Mower (4/10); Tiffany Clark (4/17)