home sitesearch contact fan about
  Submit/Update Profile  

Search the Network:

Softball: See new look at softball park this weekend

Softball: See new look at softball park this weekend

Softball: See new look at softball park this weekend

Bruce Brown

It’s a good thing the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will have some familiar faces returning this spring, because fans might not recognize Ragin’ Cajun Softball Park when they attend this weekend’s Louisiana Classics event.
The park’s name will be changed, for one thing, becoming Alfred and Helen Lamson Ragin’ Cajun Softball Park in pregame ceremonies on Friday to honor the many contributions of the Lamson family to ULU softball over the years.

Then there’s the facility itself.

Workmen are taking advantage of good weather to stage a feverish finish to improvements this week. New dugouts are being constructed, as are new batting cages, additional box seats and more bleacher seating.
"I almost don’t recognize the place," said All-American senior outfielder Danyele Gomez. "It’s going to be nice, though."

Co-head coaches Stefni and Michael Lotief have adjusted the team’s workouts to accommodate the upgrades, sending players to the football practice fields for some of their hitting work while the cages are constructed.

"It won’t all be done," Michael Lotief said, "but it’s going to be close."

"I’ve spent more time focused on this than I have on softball," Stefni Lotief said.

The Cajuns will host SEC member Mississippi, Grambling State and first-year program Memphis in the Classics, with Ole Miss the likely top visitor after a 30-28 campaign a year ago.

Grambling looks to make strides from 3-54 last year, while Memphis starts its first year.

"We had a couple of good games with Ole Miss last year," Stefni Lotief said, recalling 3-0 and 6-2 victories last Feb. 4-5. "They’ve got a lot of players back."

ULU returnees Lacey Bertucci and Brittany Bryant had two hits apiece, and Tara Hamilton a 3-run home run in her first Cajun game, in the 3-0 win over Ole Miss. In the second, Bryant and Ashley Evans each had two hits.

First-year UM coach Missy Dickerson will count on 12 letter winners including Mary Jane Callahan (.371 batting average, a school-record 1.49 earned run average as a pitcher). Also back are pitcher Dana Brill (1.56 ERA) and shortstop Lauren Rowe (11 doubles, 5 home runs).

"We’re excited about the start of the season," Dickerson said. "I don’t really know too much about Grambling, and Memphis is a new program, but Louisiana-Lafayette has had a great program and a long tradition.

"The tournament should be a big test for this team."

It will be a tournament with a new look, but much of the same Cajun tradition.

Originally published February 9, 2006