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Softball: Waterman finishes on the field

Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, April 29, 2013

Throughout the weekend series at Lamson Park, the starting lineup for the UL Ragin’ Cajun softball team had a different name in it.

The name was Megan Waterman.

Those close or inside the program know her. Others probably aren’t as familiar.

Prior to this season, she had only three career at-bats and scored seven runs. During this senior campaign, she collected her first career hit and her first career home run.

Prior to Sunday’s Senior Day, Waterman was hitting .333 with a double, a homer and three RBIs in six at-bats. On Sunday, she drew a walk and scored another run.

Yet with the Cajuns still heavily involved in the race for the Sun Belt Conference regular season championship, UL coach Michael Lotief had no reservations in starting the senior from Ashburn, Va., despite her limited activity.

“Megan can play,” Lotief said. “I love Megan. Listen, there’s no shame in not being a starter in this program. I say it all the time, but I really believe it. We can’t win without those kids. I respect those kids so much. Those kids are self-less. They do so many things to help us win that the fans never see. We can’t win without Megan Waterman.

“Megan plays at a high level in practice all the time. It’s just not under the bright lights.”

Of course, Lotief was also quick to point out that Waterman has a 4.0 grade point average in biology and was the university’s Outstanding Graduate in her college.

“She’s going to be richer than all of us,” Lotief laughed.

Lotief said of the five seniors who played their final home games at Lamson Park on Sunday, he personally identifies most with Waterman.

“She reminds me a lot of myself,” Lotief said. “I didn’t get to play (as high school athlete) a lot either. But I always believed that I did what I could to help my teammates win.”

Lotief is also convinced the experience – despite not being a starter – paid big dividends in a hurry.

“I honestly believe those lessons I learned in high school athletics helped me beat cancer (1984),” he said. “As smart as she is, there’s going to be a time in her life when she’s going to face some adversity and the lessons she’s learned are going to make her better prepared for life.

“I know that just sounds like a cliché to most, but I really believe it. I live it every day.”