Nobody willingly walks into a lion's den carrying a fresh piece of meat. Unfortunately for the collegiate softball world, there's no escaping Lamson Park once the Ragin' Cajuns get you in their grasp.

Opposing pitchers walk into the circle hoping to hold their own, but the Cajuns have been feasting on their prey all season long.

The Cajuns are in the top ten in batting average again this year, and Lexie Elkins leads the country with eleven home runs. More than half of their fifteen games ended in mercy rules, and their pitchers are mowing people down with large leads supporting them. Michael Lotief sports arguably the most talented lineup in the game, and they're getting it done as a platoon. Check that, they're a wrecking crew.

Associate Head Coach Chris Malveaux is like Coach Lotief when it comes to the numbers. He will analyze them for what their worth, but they don't tell the whole story.

"To be that high up in the country, that means it's not one or two games. It's a continuous focus," Malveaux said while pinch hitting for Michael Lotief at the softball press conference. "For a pitcher to have to labor that much, that really wears down whoever is in the other circle."

Malveaux said the team isn't looking back and patting themselves on the back with their 14-1 start. Teams reflect their coaches, and Coach Lotief is always looking for ways to improve.

Two wins over Oregon earlier this year will certainly help their RPI, but how much will those wins help them when they're on the road later this year against Florida? Will they be able to use some of the runs from their early tournament success in the regionals at the end of the season? The answer is of course not. In baseball and softball, often the team with the shortest memories make it the farthest.

It would be easy for Lotief's team to fall victim to a "trap game" or an off-day at the plate. He's just pleased they're staying locked in despite the showers of praise.

"I'm very impressed with this team and their focus, and their ability to not get caught up in outcomes or results or opponents or any of that stuff." Lotief said. "This team has a way to continue to push themselves, within, to just get better."

When it comes to ignoring accolades and getting back to work, Lexie Elkins is facing quite a steep task. Her name is in the paper on a regular basis, and she is gaining deserved national attention with the way she is swinging the bat. The insulation in the lineup in front and behind is a luxury few coaches get to deal with, and it has Elkins set up for some seriously historic stuff this season.

Just reading the box scores and headlines, you would think Elkins is the fiery vocal leader of the team. On the contrary, she's typically quiet and humble. The rest of the players on the team know what happens when she's at the plate, and none of them blink an eye when she goes up and proves how dangerous she can be time and time again.

Even the coaching staff gets impressed at how steady she stays in the sometimes buckling weight of pressure and expectations.

"A normal human being would start to sit back and press a little. Everybody knows who she is," Malveaux said. "She doesn't even acknowledge that part of it...she's able to treat every at bat like it's brand new."

Every time she starts anew at the plate, she gets off on the right foot.

Elkins clearly isn't doing it alone. Alex Stewart is throwing the ball well in the circle, and Kylee Jo Trahan tossed a perfect game to compliment some solid performances from other arms like Victoria Brown and Macey Smith. The pitching performances alone are enough to get excited about, but the offensive outburst to start the season is stealing the show.

On any other team, Hayley Hayden, Shellie Landry and Kelsey Vincent's numbers would inspire a certain amount of awe. Unfortunately for them, Elkins' absurd stats sit next to theirs on the sheet. It seems like the only numbers they care about end up in the wins column.

"They're not quite worried about numbers," Malveaux said. "They're worried about Oklahoma City and putting us in position to win that."

There's a long road ahead, but all of Cajun Nation hopes they pave their way all the way to Oklahoma City.

(Watch Coach Lotief and Malveaux's entire press conference video below)

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