Softball: Elkins, Sanders Invited To USA Softball Selection Camps
LAFAYETTE, La. – Ragin’ Cajuns softball junior catcher Lexie Elkins has been named one of 33 athletes invited to attend the USA Softball Women’s National Team selection camp, while freshman infielder DJ Sanders is one of 27 athletes to be invited to the USA Junior Women’s National Team selection camp.
The Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) selection camp will be held Jan. 3-4, 2015 at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, Calif., while the Women’s National Team (WNT) will hold their camp Jan. 5-7, 2015 at the same location.
Named an NFCA All-American in 2014, Elkins was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and All-Louisiana Hitter and Newcomer of the Year in her first season in Lafayette after transferring from Texas Tech. A native of Victoria, Texas, Elkins hit .388 during the 2014 season with 73 hits, 74 RBI and 41 runs scored. Nationally, she ranked fifth in RBI, sixth with 1.25 RBI per game and 11th with an .835 slugging percentage.
"Lexie is one of the best power hitters in the country, and she is tough, smart, competitive and handles the pitching staff," said head coach Michael Lotief. "She would be a great addition to the National Team and is the perfect kid to wear USA across the front of her jersey."
Elkins will vie for one of the 17 spots on the 2015 WNT roster that will compete at the World Cup of Softball X in July 2015 in Southern California as well as a spot on the 15-athlete roster that will compete in the 2015 Pan American Games, July 15-26, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
College softball head and assistant coaches from around the country will serve as coaches for the team next summer. Ken Eriksen (South Florida HC) will guide the WNT while Laura Berg (Oregon State HC), Howard Dobson (LSU AC) and Lisa Dodd (UNLV HC) will serve as assistants.
"Lexie has emerged as a leader on our team and has grown in her understanding of investing in the people around her to make them better," Lotief said. "She is the perfect fit to play international competition, and to make our USA team better."
After a stellar prep career at New Hope High School in Columbus, Mississippi, Sanders enters her first season with the Ragin’ Cajuns. A five-year letterwinner in fastpitch and slowpitch softball, Sanders garnered all-state honors in both sports as a junior and senior while also representing North Mississippi as an all-star her final two seasons at NHHS. As a junior, Sanders claimed The Dispatch Fastpitch Player of the Year.
"DJ is getting ready to make her splash on the national scene," Lotief said. "Cajun fans will be reminded of another native Mississippian (Nerissa Myers) who played shortstop at UL when they watch her play."
Sanders will compete for one of 17 spots to represent the United States at the World Cup of Softball X and the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women’s World Championship, held Aug. 9-15 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Tairia Flowers (Cal State Northridge HC) will direct the JWNT with assistance from Trisha Ford (Fresno State HC), Kristie Fox (UT Arlington HC) and Tim Walton (Florida HC).
"DJ is another kid who does things the right way – values hard work and preparation, trusting the process, excelling academically and caring for her teammates," Lotief said. "She is another great choice to wear that USA uniform."
Coming off its sixth trip to the Women’s College World Series in 2014, Louisiana will open the 2015 season with the Louisiana Classic, Feb. 6-8, at Lamson Park.
— RaginCajuns.com —