SOFTBALL: Denham and Sanders sweep Sun Belt awards for second time

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LAFAYETTE – The 17th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team swept the latest weekly awards handed out by the Sun Belt Conference as DJ Sanders was named Player of the Week and Alyssa Denham received Pitcher of the Week.

Sanders posted four hits, all home runs, hit two grand slams in one game and piled up 14 RBI during a four-game week for the Ragin’ Cajuns. She hit .400 for the week and delivered three grand slams out of the four home runs.

The three grand slams increased Sanders’ season total to six which ties the NCAA single-season record last reached by former Cajun Christi Orgeron.

The junior shortstop’s most impressive performance of the week came in Game 2 on Good Friday at Texas State when she hit two grand slams in the contest leading to a career-high eight RBI. The first grand slam broke a 1-1 tie in the second inning, while the second broke the game open in the fifth inning by extending Louisiana’s lead to 10-2.

Denham worked 17 innings in the pitching circle and held foes to three runs (two earned), seven hits, struck out 10 and allowed only one extra base hit over three appearances for the Ragin’ Cajuns last week. She began the week with three innings of scoreless, one-hit softball over 11 batters faced in a midweek game vs. Southeastern Louisiana. In the series win at Texas State, she tossed 14 innings total and limited the Bobcats to two runs and six hits.

The Pearland (Texas) High product delivered a key relief effort in the series opener, outdueling Texas State’s Randi Rupp for the win. She delivered a masterful relief performance after taking over for Alex Stewart in the first inning, retiring 17 of the first 19 batters she faced after beginning her relief appearance, striking out five and not allowing any hits until the seventh inning.

It’s the second time this season that Denham and Sanders sweep the SBC weekly awards. The duo accomplished the feat back on Feb. 21 for their roles in the series win over then-No. 4 Alabama.

Sanders collected her fourth player of the week honor from the Sun Belt, tying Holly Tankersley (2004, 2007) for second-most captured in a single season. The record is five set by Danyele Gomez in 2006.

Denham, now with two pitcher of the week awards from the Sun Belt, is the first Cajuns freshman pitcher to win multiple times since Jordan Wallace claimed four awards in 2012.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have claimed eight of the 10 player of the week awards handed out by the Sun Belt this season and have won the award four weeks running since March 28. Sanders has earned four (Feb. 21, Feb. 28, Mar. 28, Apr. 18) while Kelli Martinez (Feb. 14), Lexie Comeaux (Mar. 7), Daniella Chavez (Apr. 4) and Aleah Craighton (Apr. 11) have been honored once apiece.

Adding in three pitcher of the week selections, Denham twice (Feb. 21, Apr. 18) and Alex Stewart once (Mar. 7), Louisiana has collected 11 weekly awards total from the Sun Belt in 2017.

Louisiana has claimed 86 player of the week honors and 77 pitcher of the week honors since the Sun Belt Conference began bestowing the honor in 2000.

The No. 17-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns (32-6) return to the State of Texas on Wednesday for a Top 25 matchup in College Station at No. 4 Texas A&M (37-4). The Ragin’ Cajuns and Aggies will meet in a 6:30 p.m. single game at the Aggie Softball Complex live on SEC Network Plus (WatchESPN.com).

Louisiana was just in Texas over Easter Weekend, playing a Sun Belt series in San Marcos against Texas State. Wednesday’s contest with Texas A&M is a rematch of the 2016 NCAA Lafayette Regional championship game that Louisiana claimed 9-8 in extra innings.

For more information on Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball, as well as all of Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow along with the team on Facebook (/RaginCajunSoftball),Twitter (@RaginCajunsSB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsSoftball).

2017 RAGIN’ CAJUNS SUN BELT PLAYER/PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Feb. 14 – Kelli Martinez (Player of the Week)
Feb. 21 – DJ Sanders (Player of the Week)
Feb. 21 – Alyssa Denham (Pitcher of the Week)
Feb. 28 – DJ Sanders (Player of the Week)
Mar. 7 – Lexie Comeaux (Player of the Week)
Mar. 7 – Alex Stewart (Pitcher of the Week)
Mar. 28 – DJ Sanders (Player of the Week)
Apr. 4 – Daniella Chavez (Player of the Week)
Apr. 11 – Aleah Craighton (Player of the Week)
Apr. 18 – DJ Sanders (Player of the Week)
Apr. 18 – Alyssa Denham (Pitcher of the Week)

RAGIN’ CAJUNS SOFTBALL SUN BELT PLAYER OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
2017: Kelli Martinez (2/14); DJ Sanders (2/21); DJ Sanders (2/28); Lexie Comeaux (3/7); DJ Sanders (3/28); Daniella Chavez (4/4); Aleah Craighton (4/11); DJ Sanders (4/18)
2016: Lexie Elkins (2/16); DJ Sanders (3/8); Shellie Landry (3/28); Aleah Craighton (4/11); Kara Gremillion (5/9)
2015: Lexie Elkins (3/23); Lexie Elkins (4/20); Aleah Craighton (5/4)
2014: Lexie Elkins (2/10); Natalie Fernandez (3/24); Lexie Elkins (4/7)
2013: Brianna Cherry (2/25); Nerissa Myers (4/8); Nerissa Myers (4/29)
2012: Christi Orgeron (2/13); Christi Orgeron (2/20); Nerissa Myers (3/5); Nerissa Myers (3/19); Christi Orgeron (3/26); Christi Orgeron (4/23)
2011: Gabriele Bridges (2/14); Christi Orgeron (3/7); Gabriel Bridges (3/21); Christi Orgeron (4/18); Gabriele Bridges (5/2); Gabriele Bridges (5/9)
2010: Vallie Gaspard (2/15); Christi Orgeron (3/8); Christi Orgeron (3/29)
2009: Gabriele Bridges (2/16); Karli Hubbard (3/16); Gabriele Bridges (4/6); Christi Orgeron (4/20); Christi Orgeron (4/27)
2008: Melissa Verde (2/11); Holly Tankersley (3/10); Holly Tankersley (4/14)
2007: Codi Runyan (2/12); Holly Tankersley (2/19); Holly Tankersley (2/26); Holly Tankersley (3/12); Holly Tankersley (3/19); Melissa Verde (4/23)
2006: Danyele Gomez (2/14); Danyele Gomez (2/21); Danyele Gomez (4/3); Danyele Gomez (4/10); Danyele Gomez (4/24); Codi Runyan (5/8)
2005: Jill Robertson (2/21); Crystal George (3/14); Jill Robertson (4/18); Danyele Gomez (4/25); Danyele Gomez (5/2)
2004: Holly Tankersley (2/17); Holly Tankersley (3/2); Holly Tankersley (4/5); Holly Tankersley (5/3)
2003: Becky McMurtry (3/4); Danyele Gomez (3/13); Becky McMurtry (4/7); Danyele Gomez (4/14); Becky McMurtry (5/5)
2002: Alana Addison (3/18); Becky McMurtry (3/25); Jerie Alexander (4/1); Alana Addison (4/15); Missy Martin (4/22); Becky McMurtry (4/29)
2001: Alana Addison (3/19); Missy Martin (3/26); Alana Addison (4/2); Jerie Alexander (4/23); Jana Mower (4/30)
2000: Tiffany Clark (3/13); Alana Addison (3/27); Jana Mower (4/10); Tiffany Clark (4/17)

RAGIN’ CAJUNS SOFTBALL SUN BELT PITCHER OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
2017: Alyssa Denham (2/21); Alex Stewart (3/7); Alyssa Denham (4/18)
2016: Kylee Jo Trahan (3/1); Alex Stewart (4/4); Alex Stewart (5/9)
2015: Jordan Wallace (2/16); Christina Hamilton (2/23); Jordan Wallace (3/16)
2014: Christina Hamilton (3/17); Christina Hamilton (4/21)
2013: Jordan Wallace (2/18); Jordan Wallace (4/8); Jordan Wallace (4/15); Jordan Wallace (5/6)
2012: Ashley Brignac (2/27); Jordan Wallace (3/19); Jordan Wallace (4/9); Ashley Brignac (4/16); Jordan Wallace (4/23); Jordan Wallace (4/30)
2011: Ashley Brignac (2/14); Christina Hamilton (2/21); Ashley Brignac (2/28); Ashley Brignac (3/21); Ashley Brignac (3/28); Ashley Brignac (4/18); Ashley Brignac (5/2); Ashley Brignac (5/9)
2010: Donna Bourgeois (2/15); Brittany Cuevas (4/19)
2009: Donna Bourgeois (2/9); Donna Bourgeois (2/16); Ashley Brignac (3/16); Donna Bourgeois (4/20); Donna Bourgeois (4/27)
2008: Ashley Brignac (2/11); Ashley Brignac (3/10); Ashley Brignac (3/17); Brittany Cuevas (3/24); Donna Bourgeois (4/14); Ashley Brignac (4/21); Donna Bourgeois (4/28)
2007: Brittany Cuevas (2/26); Brittany Cuevas (3/12); Brittany Cuevas (4/23); Brittany Cuevas (5/7)
2006: Krystal Lewallen (2/14); Ashley Kirchberg (2/21); Ashley Kirchberg (4/3); Ashley Kirchberg (4/24); Ashley Kirchberg (5/8)
2005: Brooke Mitchell (2/21); Brooke Mitchell (2/28); Brooke Mitchell (3/7); Brooke Mitchell (3/14); Heather Bobbit (4/18); Brooke Mitchell (4/25)
2004: Brooke Mitchell (2/17); Brooke Mitchell (2/24); Brooke Mitchell (3/2); Brooke Mitchell (3/9); Brooke Mitchell (3/22); Brooke Mitchell (4/5); Brooke Mitchell (4/12); Brooke Mitchell (4/19)
2003: Brooke Mitchell (2/18); Brooke Mitchell (2/25); Michael Parrott (3/4); Brooke Mitchell (3/31); Afton Thoms (5/5)
2002: Melissa Coronado (4/8)
2001: Melissa Coronado (3/19); Melissa Coronado (3/26); Micah Barbato (4/16); Melissa Coronado (4/30)
2000: Melissa Coronado (4/10)

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