UL sophomore catcher Lexie Elkins


The 17th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun softball team returns to Sun Belt Conference play on Friday afternoon, when they travel to Troy, Alabama to take on the Troy Trojans, in a doubleheader, representing the first two games of a three-game, weekend, league series.

Louisiana, who defeated McNeese St., 5-4, in non-conference action on Wednesday night, has won 23 out of their last 25 games, and is currently 31-7-1, overall, and 11-1 in Sun Belt Conference play.

That 11-1 mark puts UL atop the conference standings, three games in the loss column in front of South Alabama and WKU, who each have four losses in league play

Troy, who won two of three games from UT-Arlington in a conference series last week, will come into the series at 18-25-2, overall, and 2-9 in league play.

Offensively, the Cajuns are currently hitting a .303 as a team, which leads the Sun Belt Conference, along with 62 home runs, which also leads the league, 226 RBI’s, and 27 stolen bases.

Louisiana is led by senior second baseman Natalie Fernandez, who leads the conference in hitting (.464) and on-base percentage (.556), along with freshman outfielder Hayley Hayden and sophomore catcher Lexie Elkins, who are tied for the lead in the conference in home runs, with 13.

Elkins, who is hitting a .400,  and Hayden, who is hitting a .338, are also 1-2 in the league-lead in runs batted in, with 49 and 44, respectively.

The Trojans are hitting a .222 as a team, which ranks eighth, along with 25 home runs, 141 RBI’s, and 39 stolen bases.

Offensively, Troy is paced by senior outfielder Ebony Wright, who is hitting a .333 with 13 stolen bases,, and sophomore outfielder Amanda Winters, who is batting a .288 with five home runs and 18 RBI’s.

Pitching-wise, Louisiana brings a an overall team ERA. of 3.27 into the series, which ranks fourth in the league. Junior right-hander Christina Hamilton is currently 16-1, with a 1.48 ERA., which is good enough for third in the league, while junior right-hander Jordan Wallace is 13-3, with a 4.02 ERA.

The Trojans bring a combined team ERA. of 0.99 into the series, which ranks third. Sophomore right-hander Ashley Rainey is 6-4 with a 2.68 ERA, while junior right-hander Jaycee Affeldt is 7-16 with an 2.84 ERA.

Louisiana leads the all-time series, 25-4.

First-pitch for the Friday doubleheader is scheduled for 4 o’clock, with a noon single game set for Saturday.

You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com beginning with the pre-game show, 15 minutes prior to first-pitch.