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Softball: Cajuns Sweep Sun Belt Honors Again

Matt Hebert, Sports Information –

LAFAYETTE – After capping off its sixth consecutive Sun Belt regular season title and claiming the top seed in the conference’s upcoming tournament, the 15th-ranked Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns softball team picked up additional accolades Monday morning as Ashley Kirchberg and Codi Runyan were respectively selected SBC Pitcher and Player of the Week.

It’s the fifth time this season that UL (45-10, 12-3 Sun Belt) swept the weekly awards. Kirchberg takes home honors for the third time in the past six weeks.

Kirchberg was chosen for the honor after she earned a pair of victories against Middle Tennessee, extending her string of consecutive decisions won to 13 and capping off the regular season undefeated in Sun Belt play (8-0).

For the weekend Kirchberg tossed a shutout – her 12th solo shutout of the season – and combined for another in her two starts. She pitched eight innings and held the Blue Raiders to only six hits while striking out five and not allowing a single walk.

The senior hurler was the pitcher of record in the victory on Saturday that claimed the share of the league title and was the pitcher of record in the victory that got the Ragin’ Cajuns the outright league crown on Sunday.

Kirchberg collected her fourth Sun Belt weekly honor of the 2006 season – the most honors amongst all pitchers in the conference. As a team, UL collected its fifth Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week honor this season.

Runyan, meanwhile, gave the Ragin’ Cajuns solid production in the nine-spot of the lineup going 5-for-9 (.556) with a team-best five RBI in the weekend sweep of MT.

She collected a hit in each game of the series including a perfect 3-for-3 performance in Sunday’s finale. The sophomore hit a three-run home run in Saturday’s second game and a two-run double in Sunday’s game.

She also fielded perfectly in 11 chances (5 putouts, 6 assists) and her slugging percentage for the series was 1.000.

Runyan wins the award for the first time in her career. It’s the sixth Sun Belt Player of the Week award for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have now won 57 Sun Belt weekly honors in six seasons under former Ragin’ Cajuns All-American and current head coach Stefni Lotief. This week’s awards are 10th and 11th of the 2006 season.

Kirchberg and Runyan along with the rest of their teammates will travel to Miami on Wednesday to participate in the 2006 Sun Belt Conference Tournament on the FIU campus. UL, the No. 1 seed, will meet the Middle Tennessee-Troy winner in the quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, May 11.

2006 Louisiana-Lafayette Softball Weekly Honors

Sun Belt Player of the Week
Feb. 14 – Danyele Gomez
Feb. 21 – Danyele Gomez
Apr. 3 – Danyele Gomez
Apr. 10 – Danyele Gomez
Apr. 24 – Danyele Gomez
May 8 – Codi Runyan

Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week
Feb. 14 – Krystal Lewallen
Feb. 21 – Ashley Kirchberg
Apr. 3 – Ashley Kirchberg
Apr. 24 – Ashley Kirchberg
May 8 – Ashley Kirchberg