SOFTBALL: Sanders honored by Sun Belt for second straight week

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LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball junior shortstop DJ Sanders was named the Sun Belt Conference’s co-Player of the Week on Tuesday after producing a .471 effort at the plate that featured five extra base hits, 11 runs scored and eight RBI during last weekend’s Mardi Gras Invitational at Lamson Park.

Sanders received repeat honors as SBC Player of the Week (winner of Feb. 21) and collected her third career honor. She’s the first Ragin’ Cajuns softball player since Lexie Elkins in 2015 to claim multiple player of the week honors from the Sun Belt in a single season.

After the opening game of the Mardi Gras Invite, Sanders finished with a surge at the plate going 8-for-13 (.615) over the last five games to produce the bulk of her production.

She landed a pair of three-hit games, going 3-for-3 with four runs scored, a home run and three RBI against Bowling Green and 3-for-3 with three runs scored, two home runs and five RBI against Mississippi Valley.

The Columbus, Miss., native was aboard the base path frequently, tallying eight hits and seven walks to reach base 15 times in 24 plate appearances.

For the second consecutive weekend she displayed strong discipline at the plate, striking out only twice. She has now only struck out three times over her last 35 plate appearances dating back to the Alabama series.

This is the fourth weekly award from the Sun Belt Conference for Ragin’ Cajuns Softball this season, adding to Kelli Martinez’s selection as player of the week following opening weekend (Feb. 14) and honors for Sanders and freshman pitcher Alyssa Denham handed out last Tuesday for their roles in the Alabama series victory.

Louisiana has now claimed 81 player of the week honors since the Sun Belt Conference began bestowing the award in 2000.

The No. 18-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns (11-4) are headed toward the final leg of their season-opening, 23-game homestand at Lamson Park as the calendar turns over to March. Up next is the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational set for Friday-Sunday, March 3-5 followed by a midweek doubleheader with Baylor on March 7 which closes out the homestand.

Louisiana opens play in the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational on Friday facing Alcorn at 4 p.m. and North Dakota State at 6 p.m. The games can be heard in the Lafayette area on ESPN 1420-AM and worldwide on the RadioPup app. A live video stream and live statistics is available at RaginCajuns.com.

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)

RAGIN’ CAJUNS SOFTBALL SUN BELT PLAYER OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
2017: Kelli Martinez (2/14); DJ Sanders (2/21); DJ Sanders (2/28)
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)

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