#10 Louisiana Softball 2015 Preview

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #1 Sun Belt
#10 Louisiana Softball 2015 Preview
Louisiana Team Page


With one of the most rabid fan bases in all of college softball backing them, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns found their way back to the Women’s College World Series thanks to being able to host a regional and the Super Regional round against perennial power Arizona. Louisiana brings back a pretty good core form last year’s run to Oklahoma City and they will be primed and ready to bring their loyal fans a trip back to Oklahoma City in late May and early June.

2014: 49-10-1, 19-1
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Michael Lotief

Field Players:
The Ragin’ Cajuns are tremendous offensively and they can absolutely destroy you with their power when they get rolling at the plate. They hit an impressive 90 homeruns a year ago. Catcher Lexie Elkins hit 24 homeruns and drove in 74 last season to pace Louisiana offensively. Infielder Haley Hayden returns as well this season and she will be a great a compliment in the Ragin’ Cajuns lineup to Elkins. Hayden hit. 332 with 15 homeruns and 55 runs batted in and has great discipline at the plate, striking out just 19 times last season. As far as the speed game is concerned, Louisiana can get a timely stolen base when they need it from utility player Meagan Thomas, who stole seven bases in nine attempts last season.

The Ragin’ Cajuns bring back one of the top aces in the circle in Christina Hamilton and her trademark glasses. Hamilton was electric last season, going 29-4 with a 1.56 earned run average and 23 complete games. When Hamilton needs a break Louisiana will turn to Jordan Wallace, who went 14-3 with a 4.04 earned run average. The key for Wallace will be to lower her amount of walks this season. She walked 110 batters in 102.1 innings pitched, while striking out 136 batters. If Wallace can reduce her amount of walks down closer to 65-70 this season that will help the Ragin Cajuns out greatly.

Who to Watch:
Utility player Samantha Walsh is going to be a key player to watch. She can provide that third big time power threat in the Louisiana lineup once again this season. Walsh hit .267 with 11 homeruns and 37 runs batted in to go along with a .489 slugging percentage. If Walsh can replicate or increase these offensive numbers, the Ragin’ Cajuns will have an excellent shot to match their 90 homerun output from last season.

Final Projection:
Louisiana will start the season at Lamson Park for the first three weeks of the season hosting tournaments. North Carolina State in the season opener will be a solid test against a quality ACC opponent. The Ragin’ Cajuns will go to Tuscaloosa for a three game series against the Alabama Crimson Tide in what should be one of the best non-conference weekend series of the 2015 season. Baylor and Houston will come to Lamson Park toward the back end of March for four straight games. At the end of April, Louisiana will head up to Eugene, Oregon to play a top five caliber team in the Ducks. The toughest Sun Belt Conference series will be the first one on the road in Mobile, Alabama against a very tough South Alabama team that should also be in the NCAA Tournament. Overall, the offensive attack should still be very dangerous and score five or six runs a game on average and that should be more than enough for Christina Hamilton to take care of business in the circle. Thus, with a strong non-conference schedule and the experience returning from the run to Oklahoma City, the Ragin’ Cajuns should be in the mix for a top eight seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Haley Hayden, IF, 211
Hits: Lexie Elkins, C, 73
Home Runs: Lexie Elkins, C, 24
RBIs: Lexie Elkins, C, 74
Runs: Hayley Hayden, IF, 60
Stolen Bases: Meagan Thomas, UTL, 7

Wins: Christina Hamilton, P, 29
Innings Pitched: Christina Hamilton, P, 237.1
Strikeouts: Christina Hamilton, P, 187
Complete Games: Christina Hamilton, P, 23

Madness 2015 NPF Draft Rankings:
#17 Jordan Wallace


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