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Softball: Cajuns Sweep Weekly Sun Belt Softball Honors Again

Matt Hebert, Sports Information –

LAFAYETTE – For the second week in a row the 16th-ranked Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns softball program has swept the Sun Belt’s weekly softball awards as Danyele Gomez and Ashley Kirchberg were named player and pitcher of the week respectively.

Gomez, last week’s Sun Belt player of the week, earns the award again after going 13-for-20 at the plate for a .650 batting average over six games played this past weekend. For her efforts she was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational.

Her weekend home run total allowed her to take over the Louisiana-Lafayette career record for home runs. Against Chattanooga on Saturday, she hit two home runs to break Alana Addison’s career home run record – the first tied the record at 57 and the second of the game was her 58th career home run setting the new record.

Her line on Saturday (games against Chattanooga and Southern Mississippi) included 6-of-7 from the plate with three home runs, seven RBI, six runs scored and a 2.286 slugging percentage. Her weekend performance upped her season batting average to .595 and her season slugging percentage to 1.243.

Kirchberg, meanwhile, picks up pitcher of the week honors after tossing three complete-game shutouts on her way to a 3-0 weekend in the pitching circle. The weekend performance extended her streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 25 1/3 innings.

Kirchberg held opponents to a .074 batting average and only four hits over 17 innings of work. In Friday’s win over Southern Mississippi posted a career-high 10 strikeouts and ended the weekend with 19 strikeouts.

Gomez picked up a weekly Sun Belt honor for the sixth time in her career and second time this season. Kirchberg wins the award for the first time in her career.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have now won 50 Sun Belt weekly honors in four-plus seasons under former Ragin’ Cajuns All-American and current head coach Stefni Lotief. This week’s awards are third and fourth of the 2006 season.

No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette returns to action this weekend as the squad travels to Columbus, Ga., for the 11th Annual NFCA Leadoff Classic held at the South Commons Stadium and Complex. The Ragin’ Cajuns are paired in pool play with Florida State, No. 22 Iowa and No. 2 Tennessee. Games begin on Friday, Feb. 24.

UL will play Florida State on Friday at 11 a.m. (CST) and Iowa at 1:30 p.m. (CST). Pool play finishes on Saturday at 9 a.m. (CST) against second-ranked Tennessee.

2006 Louisiana-Lafayette Softball Weekly Honors

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

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