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Softball: Cajuns Sweep Sun Belt Honors

Matt Hebert, Sports Information –

LAFAYETTE – Danyele Gomez broke the school single season record for home runs and entered the NCAA career Top 5 for home runs. Ashley Kirchberg tossed her first career no-hitter and posted three victories.

Those are a few snapshot highlights from performances last week by the two stars for the 13th-ranked Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns softball team which earned them the honor of Sun Belt Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week announced by the league office on Monday.

It’s the fourth time this season that UL (39-8, 7-2 Sun Belt) swept the weekly awards and the third time that Gomez and Kirchberg were the honorees. The two won the awards on Feb. 21 and April 3 earlier this season.

Gomez had another record-breaking week as she established school single season records for home runs and total bases. She also cracked the Top 5 on the all-time NCAA career home run list as she posted three home runs to push her career total to 77 which is currently fifth on the list.

Gomez ended the week 10-of-19 at the plate (.526) with six extra base hits, eight runs scored and eight RBI. She had three doubles and three home runs and ended with a 1.158 slugging percentage.

She hit .455 (5-of-11), scored five runs, had two home runs and slugged 1.091 in the Sun Belt series at North Texas. She extended her season-best hitting streak to 10 games and extended her streak of at least one run scored to 15 times in the last 16 outings.

Gomez is still in front in the race for the Sun Belt’s “Triple Crown” as she boasts the best batting average (.462) and leads with 24 home runs and 59 RBI.

Gomez collected her fifth Sun Belt weekly honor of the 2006 season and the ninth of her career.

Kirchberg tossed her first career no-hitter in the Cajuns’ 5-0 win over UNT. She was the pitcher of record in Sunday’s win which completed the sweep of the Mean Green.

She ended the week 3-0 allowing only 11 hits, striking out 11 and walking only two hitters over 18 innings in the circle.

Tossed a four-hitter at McNeese State on Wednesday and did not allow an earned run to the Cowgirls. Pitched 15 1/3 straight innings without a walk and gave up only four hits and no earned runs in the first 14 innings of work.

Her three victories improved her season record to 18-1 and extended her string of consecutive decisions won to eight straight.

Kirchberg collected her third Sun Belt weekly honor of the 2006 season.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have now won 55 Sun Belt weekly honors in five-plus seasons under former Ragin’ Cajuns All-American and current head coach Stefni Lotief. This week’s awards are eighth and ninth of the 2006 season.

No. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette will be back in action on Wednesday, April 26 as the squad travels to Thibodaux, La., to face Nicholls State in a 4 p.m., doubleheader.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are home this weekend for its final three games of the season at Alfred and Helen Lamson Ragin’ Cajuns Softball Park. UL hosts Western Kentucky in a Sun Belt series which runs Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30. Senior day is scheduled for Sunday, April 30 with ceremonies set to start at 11:45 a.m.

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

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