Craighton Named Sun Belt Student Athlete Of The Week
When you reach base nine out of eleven times and smash a few home runs in a series sweep, weekly honors follow. For the third straight week, the Sun Belt's best performer is a Ragin' Cajun.
Aleah Craighton clubbed Georgia State up in Atlanta, and the Sun Belt Conference named her their Student Athlete of the Week for her work. That makes six different Cajuns to collect weekly honors from the conference (Elkins, Landry, Trahan, Stewart, Sanders, Craighton). The Sun Belt isn't just handing out plaques though. Craighton earned her shine the hard way, just like the others.
She picked up a pair of HR's in Atlanta to push her season total to 13, and her 38 RBI tie her for second on the team with fellow sophomore DJ Sanders. With Lexie Elkins out with a thumb injury, Craighton is providing the necessary pop in the cleanup spot.
Head Coach Mike Lotief sees Craighton growing every day.
"She is really maturing as a hitter and does a great job of anchoring the defense in center field," Lotief said. "We're seeing the evolution of a kid who is really, really good and is continuing to work hard and develop. I believe that she's just scratching the surface of who she is and who she is going to be as a player, person, athlete and teammate."
Craighton is on pace to shatter all her career highs offensively, and the ceiling is awfully high for the young centerfielder. If she's getting these results this early in her career, it's scary to think of what she could do after spending even more time with Coach Lotief.
Don't let the power numbers deceive you either. The difference has been her patience at the plate. She only has ten strikeouts in over 100 at bats, and she's second on the team, behind Lexie Elkins, with an on-base percentage of .466.
Even more impressive, she hasn't committed a single error in centerfield. It's easy to get distracted watching her hit, but her glove can't be forgotten.
If she carries her hot bat (and glove) all the way to Gainesville, Cajun fans could be in for an interesting series against the Gators. Craighton will be facing some of the best pitchers in the country, but she looks ready for just about anything. If the trip to Atlanta was any indication on how Craighton will play this weekend, the Gators should be careful.