Another Big Bat Added To The UL Softball Roster
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun softball team, who is traditionally on of the top offensive programs in the nation, will have yet another big bat for the 2017 season.
Daniella Chavez, who played the first two years of her collegiate career with the Kansas Jayhawks, transferred to Louisiana over the summer, and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
The Cajuns, who went 46-9 last season, and appeared in a Super Regional series for the 5th-consecutive year, including the sixth time in the last seven years, will be looking to replace the likes of Lexie Elkins, Shellie Landry, Meagan Thomas, Gabby Felps, and Kelsey Vincent.
A native of Crowley, Texas, Chavez may be one of the players, both returning and new to the program, to make up for the lost production.
A starter at the designated player position as a freshman at Kansas in 2014, Chavez was fantastic, hitting a .344, to go along with 16 home runs, the most by a freshman in Jayhawks' history, and 67 runs batted in, which set a single-season record.
Those exploits earned Chavez Big XII Co-Freshman of the Year honors, and a spot as a finalist for the National Freshman of the Year award.
Last season, while primarily playing first base, Chavez hit a .318, to go along with 10 homers and 55 RBI's.
Obviously, Chavez has power, with 26 homers over two years, but she also makes contact, as her 30 walks, compared to only 22 strikeouts last season will attest.
So, where does Chavez fit in?
Well, first she has to earn her playing time. There are a lot of really good young players that will be battling for playing time in the fall, and at the turn of the year, so there are no guarantees.
That being said, you would think that Chavez, a left-handed hitter, is a prime candidate to get playing time at either first base or designated player.
Louisiana is looking to replace a terrific first baseman, in Vincent, who blasted 15 homers a season ago, and Chavez has the potential to make-up for that lost power.
Michael Lotief is certainly one of, if not the best hitting coach in the nation, and it's not hard to visualize a hitter like Chavez flourishing under his tutelage.
Chavez is a player that has been very good at a program in a major conference, going up against high-caliber pitching, and now comes to one of the most respected programs in the country, with a coach that's known for getting the most out of his players.
If you're a Cajun softball fan, you can't help but get excited about the prospects!
Again, nothing is a guarantee, but it looks as though UL softball has added another good one!