Elkins, Fernandez Lead Cajuns Past Lamar

LAFAYETTE, La. – Lexie Elkins drove in seven runs, including a game-ending grand slam, and Natalie Fernandez had a four-hit day to reach the 200-hit mark for her career, as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball team defeated Lamar, 14-3, in a midweek nonconference game at Lamson Park.

Elkins and Haley Hayden combined for seven of the Cajuns 13 RBI, both registering three hit games. Shelbi Redfearn joined Elkins and Hayden in the three-hit club and Fernandez topped the charts with her first four-hit performance of the season.

Fernandez also scored a season-high four runs, with Hayden adding three runs of her own.

As a team the Ragin' Cajuns (15-5-1) hit four home runs, including two from Elkins, to add to their Sun Belt-lead home run total. The Cajuns have now hit 37 home runs on the season with Hayden topping the individual chart with nine big flies on the season. For Elkins, it was home run numbers six and seven on the season, tying Sara Corbello for second in the conference and on the team.

Junior pitcher Christina Hamilton picked up her sixth win of the season, tossing 4.2 no-hit innings, walking one batter while striking out eight and lowering her season ERA to 1.58. Hamilton sandwiched 1.1 innings from Jordan Wallace, who allowed three runs on four hits.

The Cajuns scored early and often in the game, plating runs in five of the six innings. For the third time this season, the Natalie Fernandez got on base to lead off the game, and Haley Hayden followed it up with a home run. The duo also combined for the first runs of the game in that fashion against Texas on Feb. 8, and Rutgers on Feb. 23.

The Ragin' Cajuns scored two runs in the first inning, and three runs in both the second and third innings to lead 8-0 going into the top of the fifth with the ability to end the game with the mercy rule. Lamar wouldn't give up, scoring three runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 8-3.

After grabbing a run of their own on Elkins' first homer of the game in the fifth, the Cajuns needed just two runs in the sixth to enact the mercy rule.

After Haley Hayden drove in Fernandez with a single in the sixth, Elkins put the game away, with some insurance. The sophomore hit her first career grand slam, ending the game with the Cajuns winning 14-3.

Sophomore Kelsey Vincent also homered in the game, her third of the season,

The Cajuns will have an off weekend before traveling to Ruston to take on Louisiana Tech in a make-up game, originally scheduled for Feb. 12. The Cajuns will return to Lamson Park on Friday, March 14 to take on the defending National Champions, Oklahoma, in the first game of a three-game series.

-- www.RaginCajuns.com --

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