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Softball: Cuevas better than good

Freshman jumps over original expectations

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – When Brittany Cuevas arrived in Lafayette, it was hoped the freshman would make an immediate impact with the UL softball team. But the Brazoria, Texas, native exceeded every expectation.

"Phenomenal," Cajuns coach Stefni Lotief said. "Brittany gave us our money’s worth and then some."

In a record-breaking season, Cuevas established numerous freshman standards at UL after finishing 31-11 with a 1.99 ERA and 303 strikeouts in 292 innings.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Next year her name will be littered throughout the program’s all-time pitching records. Here’s a look:


  • The 31 wins tie for fourth all-time for a single season with former All-American Kyla Hall (1994).


  • Cuevas made 46 appearances and started 44 games, those ranked third and second, respectively.


  • Her 292 innings pitched are the third-most.


  • She became just the second pitcher to ever top 300 strikeouts in a season. All-American Brooke Mitchell had 524 in 2004 and 342 in ’05.

    In fact, after Cuevas fanned seven batters in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Sam Houston State, she became just the 11th pitcher this season in NCAA Division I softball to top the 300-strikeout mark.

    "I have a lot of things to work on, but this gives me something to build off of for next year," Cuevas said.

    "She’s got to work to get bigger and stronger this summer, and we’ve talked about that," Lotief added. "But she’s going to learn from all these experiences as a freshman and comeback so much better. That’s something I’m really looking forward to."


    Offensive meltdown

    UL’s power numbers this season were the best among the teams at the College Station Regional, but that didn’t play out this weekend.

    The Cajuns hit just 11-for-61 (.180) as a team and had one extra-base hit – Melissa Verde’s solo homer in the loss to Sam Houston State.

    Entering the tournament, UL had a .279 team batting average and led all the schools involved with 68 home runs and 140 extra-base hits.

    Forced to juggle the lineup because of injuries, Lotief saw the bottom four hitters in the order go a combined 1-for-27. And the lone hit was in a pinch-hit role by Codi Runyan.

    Playing in pain

    Out for well over a month with a herniated disc in her back, Runyan started at designated player in Saturday’s loss.

    After making her first appearance in over a month as a pinch-hitter the day before, Runyan struggled, going 0-for-3. The junior from Port Barre struck out twice and grounded into a crucial double play with two runners on base in the fifth inning.

    Also playing in pain was Comeaux High grad Desi Chatman.

    Cleared to play by an orthopedic specialist after suffering a severe knee sprain late in Friday’s loss to Houston, the senior pinch-hit in the sixth inning against Sam Houston State and flew out to deep right field.

    With her left knee heavily bandaged, Chatman was not a consideration to play in the field.

    Final is set

    In Saturday’s late game, Texas A&M run-ruled Sam Houston State in six innings, 11-0.

    Torched for eight runs and lasting just 3.2 innings in an 8-1 loss to Houston in an earlier game, Aggies pitcher Amanda Scarborough threw a one-hitter at SHS with nine strikeouts.

    Scarborough lost the no-hitter with two outs in the sixth inning on a single through the infield by the Bearkats’ Kendra Spivey.

    Texas A&M and Houston meet for the championship beginning at 1 p.m. today.


     Zoom Photo

    Paul Zoeller/Special to the Advertiser

    UL’s Jessica Lemoine walks off the field as Sam Houston’s Casey Everitt, bottom, and Mandy Collier celebrate Everitt’s winning run during the NCAA College Station Regional on Saturday in College Station, Texas.

    In the clutch



  • In the two regional losses, UL was 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Two of the four runs that were scored were unearned.