The 22nd-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team opens up their 2018 regular season schedule on Thursday, February 8, taking on Samford in the first day of play in the Mardi Gras Classic at Lamson Park.

Between now and then, I'll preview this year's squad, as we look ahead toward the upcoming season.

Today, I look at the catchers:

This one is going to be short and sweet, as there's only one starter and that position, and we know who that starter is going to be, barring injury.

Lexie Comeaux is going to be the starting catcher, barring injury, after a surprisingly strong sophomore campaign, in which she garnered second-team All-Sun Belt, All-Louisiana, and NFCA All-Central Region honors, after hitting a .333, to go along with 10 homers and 48 runs batted in.

A converted infielder, Comeaux also did a great job, defensively, behind the plate, and there's no reason not to expect even more improvement this season.

Catcher was one of the major question marks heading into the 2017 season opener, but Comeaux, a Tomball, Texas native, put those concerns to rest pretty quickly.

She really had an outstanding year.

The Cajuns have a great history of talented catchers, including the likes of Tiffany Whittall, Joy Webre, Lana Bowers, Sarah Draheim, and Lexie Elkins. One more good year from Comeaux, and you can add her to that impressive list.

Expect another good year from Comeaux, so the catching situation looks to be in good hands.

But who is the back-up?

That's a good question.

Miranda Grotenhuis, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, is still on the roster, but has not appeared in any preseason scrimmages.

Sophomore Beth Ashley has seen time behind the plate in the preseason.

A starter for 26 games last season in the outfield and at DH, Ashley hit a .257, to go along with three homers and 20 RBI's a season ago.

Expect to see Ashley in the outfield, at DH, and maybe even some at first base this year, and she may be the first person to go behind the plate, should something unfortunate happen to Comeaux.

Caitlin Garcia, a freshman from Spring, Texas, is a youngster that the coaching staff is pretty high on. I have also heard that she may have the versatility to do an adequate job behind the plate. She could be an option. Plus, her bat may eventually force the coaching staff to get her some at-bats, somewhere.

Injuries will hurt any team, at any position, however.

If Comeaux stays healthy, UL catching will be in good shape.

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