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2006 Cal Ripken Baseball 10-year-old World Series


Grass added to Cajun park’s infield for boys’ tournament

Bruce Brown

UL’s Lamson Softball Park doesn’t look like it did when the Ragin’ Cajuns wrapped up their 2006 season on April 30.
With a new grass infield replacing the dirt, it looks like someone is getting ready to play baseball at the facility. That’s just what’s happening, as UL is the site for the 2006 Cal Ripken Baseball 10-year-old World Series.
"It looks like a mini-baseball park," UL coach Stefni Lotief said. "They waited until we were done with our camps (in June), and then they sodded the infield. We’ve been on the road recruiting, so we haven’t been here much, but it looks great.

"They’ve been sprucing the place up, working on maintaining the grass and getting it into the best possible shape. They’ve really had to baby it along, and it hasn’t been easy with the dry weather we’ve been having."
Much of the project has been handled by the Vermilion Youth Association, the host group for the tournament.

"Tommy Picard and Vermilion Youth have done a lot of it," Lotief said. "And, they’ve hired out for some of the work. Ian Ridge, who does our fields, has advised them on fertilizer and how to maintain it."

"The park is looking great," said Jeremy Picard, the coach of tournament host Abbeville. "If you hadn’t known, you would think they play baseball there every day."

Ragin’ Cajun baseball coach Tony Robichaux is scheduled to speak at the Friday night banquet which opens the event.

The World Series, which draws teams from as far away as New Canaan, Ct., and Kennewick, Wash., is worth the effort.

"Tommy has done a phenomenal job bring quality tournaments to this area," Lotief said. "It’s a big deal. I had the pleasure to speak at some of the softball banquets, when they had those tournaments here, and it was a very positive experience for me.

"And to hear Tony speak is a great opportunity. To get that kind of exposure for the community and the University, that’s a big deal."

The World Series begins play on Saturday, with the championship finals set for next Saturday, Aug. 12.
Originally published August 4, 2006