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UL Notebook ( Softball finish, Moody honored, Ross Mouton) by Joshua Parrott

Joshua Parrott • jparrott@theadvertiser.com • June 12, 2008  

UL’s softball team recently added another honor to its list of accolades from a memorable 2008 season. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns, who tied for fifth at the Women’s College World Series, ended the year ranked sixth nationally by both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 polls.

It was the program’s highest finish since ending the 1996 season ranked fifth. The Cajuns have closed the year ranked seven times in eight years under co-coaches Michael and Stefni Lotief.

"I’m most proud of our players and how they played and what they proved on the field," Michael Lotief said. "It was a fun ride."

The Cajuns finished the season with a 52-15 record. It marked the ninth time in program history the Cajuns won at least 50 games – and the sixth time it happened under the Lotiefs.

After winning the Sun Belt’s regular-season and conference tournament championships, the unseeded Cajuns upset No. 9 national seed LSU in Regionals and No. 8 seed Houston in Super Regionals for the program’s first WCWS berth since 2003.

The Cajuns stunned top-seeded Florida, 3-2, to open WCWS play. Their season came to an end after a 2-1 loss to eventual national runner-up Texas A&M and a 3-1 loss to Alabama.

Moody honored

Former UL pitcher Hunter Moody, one of four players in Sun Belt history to win at least 30 games, was named a first team ABCA/Rawlings South Central Region selection on Wednesday.

One week after getting drafted in the 35th round by the Toronto Blue Jays, Moody earned the honor after going 9-2 with a 3.26 ERA as a senior. He was a first team all-region pick as a sophomore when he went 12-2 and was the Sun Belt’s pitcher of the year.

The side-armed lefty finished as the program’s winningest pitcher with a 31-7 career record. He is third in conference history in career victories – only South Alabama’s Jason Norton (34) and Old Dominion’s Jim Hvizda (33) have more – and is ranked in the career top five in strikeouts, innings pitched and games started.

Odds and ends

Former UL men’s basketball player Ross Mouton returned to Lafayette in late May after playing his first professional season in Europe. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward averaged 12 points and six rebounds per game for Nyiregyhaza in Hungary … On Monday, the same day Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th career home run, former Cajun and Lafayette High standout Paul Bako enjoyed a career night for the Reds. Bako posted his first multi-home run game with two homers and five RBIs in a 9-4 win against Florida. Bako is hitting .243 with six homers and 20 RBIs this year in 48 games … Former Cajun pitcher B.J. Ryan, now a closer for the Toronto Blue Jays, received the DHL Delivery Man of the Month Award for May on Monday. Ryan went 10-for-10 in save opportunities in May, posting a 0.75 ERA after giving up one run in 12 innings. He fanned 14 batters and held opposing hitters to a .171 batting average during that stretch.