Cajuns Smash Seven Home Runs In Two Wins Over Texas State
Ragin' Cajuns Softball crushed seven home runs in their two wins over Texas State on Saturday, and they didn't even need Lexie Elkins to do it.
The news before Saturday's double-header was shocking to a lot of members of Cajun Nation. Right before the first game, the team reported Elkins wouldn't be playing. As a matter of fact, the nation's leader in home runs and batting average will be out for the next four to six weeks with a thumb injury. No need to worry, her teammates picked up the slack in her absence.
Most teams in the country would struggle to find their offensive flow without Elkins. On Saturday, six different Cajuns combined for seven home runs. No power issues at Lamson Park...
Hayley Hayden, Shellie Landry, DJ Sanders and Sara Corbello all sent balls over the wall in Game One to set the tone. To follow that up, Kelsey Vincent, Aleah Craighton and Corbello (again) hit three home runs in four at bats to claim a Cajun comeback in Game Two. One of the deepest lineups in collegiate softball proved that they can hurt you in many ways, even with their most dangerous weapon watching from the dugout.
In Game One of the double-header, the Cajuns jumped on Texas State for a 7-0 victory, and it looked like the Bobcats were going to get mercy ruled for a minute. Three runs in the second and two runs in the third inning gave Alex Stewart a hefty lead to work with, and they didn't even need the two extra insurance runs in the 7-0 victory.
Stewart improved to 14-1, tying her career high with 11 strikeouts in a complete game shutout of the Bobcats. Texas State was only able to muster three hits against the Cajuns' ace, meanwhile, the Cajuns lit up the Sun Belt leader in wins, Randi Rupp, for six runs in 4.1 innings of work. It was a typical trouncing for the Cajuns in conference play, but they had to fight in game number two.
Good teams win when they're supposed to, and great teams find ways to win even when the cards are stacked against them. Game number two of the double-header reminded everyone in the country that it takes seven innings of near-perfect softball to beat the Cajuns, and not an inning less.
Texas State had things handled going all the way into the bottom of the sixth inning. After battling to crack Kylee Jo Trahan for a run in the fifth, they added one more in the sixth for the 2-0 lead. Then, the Cajuns went on their home run jamboree (three HR's in four at bats) to provide five runs in a hurry. The Bobcats couldn't withstand the Cajuns counterpunch, and then Trahan came back in the game to shut the door for her first save of the season. Macey Smith picked up her second win of the season in the 5-2 win, and the folks at Lamson Park went back home with smiles on their faces.
The two wins don't lessen the impact of the Elkins injury, but they help put it in perspective. Nobody wants to play without their best player, but at least the Cajuns know they have enough leadership elsewhere to step up and still get the job done.