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Softball: Lexie Elkins Selected as State’s Top Amateur Athlete


NEW ORLEANS – Lexie Elkins, a two-time All-American and current catcher for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball program, has been selected as the 2014-15 female winner of the James J. Corbett Award, the Allstate Sugar Bowl announced on Thursday.
The Corbett Awards are presented annually to the top male and female amateur athletes in the State of Louisiana. The male Corbett winner will be announced on Friday.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, a group of current and former media members, selects the recipients of the Corbett Awards each year based on nominations submitted by the state’s sportswriters, sportscasters and sports information directors. The committee also selects the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, as well as annual award winners in a variety of categories, including the Corbett Awards and the Eddie Robinson Award.
Elkins will be recognized along with 23 other individuals and two teams at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"What an honor to receive such a prestigious award," Louisiana softball head coach Michael Lotief said. "Thanks again to the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
"Lexie is such a deserving student-athlete for the award, not only for her athletic accomplishments on the field, but for how she has gone about her development."
Elkins’ selection marks the second straight year a Ragin’ Cajuns student-athlete receives the female Corbett Award. Teammate Christina Hamilton was the award winner for the 2013-14 athletic year.
Elkins is the fifth student-athlete in school history and the fourth member of the Ragin’ Cajuns softball program to receive the Corbett Award joining Ashley Brignac (2008), Christi Orgeron (2011-12) and Hamilton (2013-14). Former Ragin’ Cajuns football standout Tyrell Fenroy received the male Corbett Award in 2008.
"It means a lot," Elkins said. "But I couldn’t have done it without my support team behind me. Coach Mike (Lotief), my teammates and everybody behind the scenes."
Elkins generated a program-record 32 home runs during the 2015 campaign, which led all levels of collegiate softball and tied for second on the NCAA all-division season list. She unseated Danyele Gomez as the program’s single-season home run record holder, besting Gomez’s 30 home runs hit in 2006.
The Victoria, Texas, native led the nation in RBI per game (1.54), recording 83 RBI to join Orgeron (2011, 2012) as the only players in program history to reach 80 RBI. She also set a new program record for slugging percentage at 1.077, breaking Gomez’s record .957 from 2006, becoming the first Cajun to finish above 1.000.
"She is so much more than the number next to home runs," Lotief remarked. "We all know what a great hitter and fierce competitor she is. We are also seeing that she is a leader, great teammate and a hard worker who understands the process and commitment it takes to be the best."
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) recognized the rising senior as the top catcher in NCAA Division I as she was selected at the position on the All-America first team and named Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year.
Elkins also received first team honors on the NFCA All-Central Region, All-Sun Belt and All-Louisiana squads. She was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year for the second straight year and was one of 26 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year award.
"Lexie is strong and smart mentally," Lotief added. "That allows her to compete at a high level and embrace tough challenges and to deal with and learn from every experience whether it be success or failure."
The Ragin’ Cajuns finished the 2015 campaign with a 42-12 record. Louisiana claimed its second straight Sun Belt Conference regular season championship and 13th in the 15 years of league competition since 2001. The squad appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the 17th straight year and 25th time in the past 26 years dating back to 1990. Louisiana hosted an NCAA Regional at Lamson Park for the third time in the past four years (2012, 2014,2015) and advanced to a NCAA Super Regional for the fourth straight year (2012-15).
For info and updates on Ragin’ Cajuns softball follow the team on twitter @RaginCajunSB.
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 and named in honor of the late James J. Corbett to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically to the Sugar Bowl. At the time of his death, Mr. Corbett was the Athletic Director at LSU.
Since its inception in 1967 (through 2014), Corbett Award winners include 16 NFL players, seven Major League Baseball players, four NBA players (including two Hall of Famers), eight Olympians (including seven Gold Medal winners), three WNBA players and one PGA Tour star.
2014-15 James J. Corbett Award winner
2015 NFCA Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year
2015 All-Louisiana First Team
2015 NFCA First Team All-America
2015 NFCA First Team All-Central Region
2015 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year
2015 All-Sun Belt First Team
2015 USA Softball Player of the Year Top 26 Finalist
USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week (April 20)
Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week (March 23, April 20)
LSWA Player of the Week (March 30, April 20)