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Softball: Cajuns Sweep Weekly Sun Belt Honors – Gomez and Kirchberg named

Matt Hebert, Sports Information –

LAFAYETTE – A six-game sweep of a recent homestand equated to the 13th-ranked Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns softball team sweeping weekly honors in the Sun Belt Conference.

A pair of Louisiana-Lafayette senior standouts are this week’s Sun Belt Softball award winners as Danyele Gomez and Ashley Kirchberg were respectively named Player and Pitcher of the week on Monday.

It marked the third time this season that UL (29-6) swept the Sun Belt awards. It’s the first time since Feb. 21 that the Cajuns won either award.

Gomez collected her third Player of the Week honor of the season and the seventh of her career. Kirchberg wins the award for the second time this season. Both were honorees when UL swept the weekly awards on Feb. 21.

Gomez added to her list of accomplishments this past weekend as she became only the eighth player in NCAA Division I history to reach 70 career home runs hitting career No. 70 on Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. That was the highlight of a week-long homestand which Gomez went 10-for-20 at the plate for a .500 average.

Gomez hit her first career triple and added two home runs during the Cajuns’ six-game sweep of their homestand. She also scored six runs and drove home five runs while collecting 18 total bases over the 20 at bats for a .900 slugging percentage

In the circle, Kirchberg tossed three shutouts helping the Ragin’ Cajuns to a six-game sweep of last week’s homestand. The senior from Houston lowered her ERA 41 points and collected season shutouts No. 8, 9 and 10.

Kirchberg held opponents to only five base hits in 17 innings of work and walked only two batters. She Began the homestand with zero walks allowed through 13 1/3 innings. The Houston native struck out 21 batters over three appearances including 11 against McNeese State and had a perfect game going against Stephen F. Austin until a bunt single in the fourth inning.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have now won 52 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 fifth and sixth of the 2006 season.

No. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette is on the road this week for four games. The Cajuns will visit Southern Mississippi on Tuesday, April 4 for a 6 p.m., single game. Then it’s off to Troy, Ala., for the Sun Belt Conference opener with Troy to be held Saturday-Sunday, April 8-9 on the Troy campus.

2006 Louisiana-Lafayette Softball Weekly Honors

Sun Belt Player of the Week
Feb. 14 – Danyele Gomez
Feb. 21 – Danyele Gomez
Apr. 3 – Danyele Gomez

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