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Ms. Donna Bourgeois


Lafayette, Louisiana

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Softball: Bourgeois leaving Cajuns

Joshua Parrott • jparrott@theadvertiser.com • November 16, 2010

Pitcher Donna Bourgeois has been released from her scholarship with the UL softball team.

UL athletic director David Walker granted senior pitcher Donna Bourgeois a release from her scholarship on Monday afternoon.

Bourgeois, a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and back-to-back reigning LSWA All-Louisiana Pitcher of the Year, is expected to transfer elsewhere to complete her collegiate career. With the release, the Teurlings Catholic grad would be immediately eligible to play during the upcoming 2011 season.

As a senior, her options are somewhat limited. The SEC doesn't allow its member schools to accept senior transfers. A student-athlete must sit out two years when transferring between Sun Belt schools.

Bourgeois was unavailable for comment.

"Donna Bourgeois has requested and been granted a release for personal reasons," Walker said. "We appreciate everything that she has done as a member of the softball team. We wish her well."

Bourgeois posted a combined 69-24 record in her three years with the Cajuns. Her work load increased in the past two seasons as classmate Ashley Brignac battled shoulder problems.

This past season as a junior, Bourgeois went 23-10 with a 2.01 ERA and 31 complete games as Brignac sat out the year after shoulder surgery. Bourgeois was first-team all-conference, second-team all-region, the Sun Belt tournament MVP and LSWA All-Louisiana Pitcher of the Year in addition to making the Baton Rouge Regional all-tournament team.

UL's season ended in the Los Angeles Super Regional against eventual national champion UCLA.

Bourgeois was honored as the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year, LSWA All-Louisiana Pitcher of the Year and first-team all-region as a sophomore in 2009 after going 30-9 with a 1.07 ERA in 235.1 innings when Brignac was limited by shoulder issues. Bourgeois was seventh nationally in victories and eighth in ERA.

As a freshman, Bourgeois led the Sun Belt and was eighth nationally with a 0.93 ERA to help the Cajuns advance to the Women's College World Series. She also posted a 16-5 record that season as Brignac went 31-7 and was the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year and second-team all-region.

Bourgeois signed with UL after being named the Class 3A Most Outstanding Player as a senior for a state championship team at Teurlings Catholic. She was 24-3 with a 0.59 ERA and 297 strikeouts in 177 innings. She was part of the same signing class as Brignac, who was the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a senior at John Curtis.

UL co-head coach Michael Lotief responded to Monday's news with the following statement:

"Adversity brought us together last season. When players went down with injuries others had to step up. We'll see if this year's team and our fans respond in a positive way or if we let this adversity sink us. We're going to rely on our core principles of teamwork, working hard, moving forward, focusing on now, getting each other's back, seeing each other as sisters, leaning on each other and believing in our dreams.

"The 2008 Women's College World Series season is further proof that teamwork and utilizing the combination of all of our player's skills and talents is the secret to our success. We are excited and ready for the challenges of the season to come."

The Cajuns return two pitchers this season in Brignac and sophomore Paige Cavallin and welcome three freshmen in Christina Hamilton, Allie Chenault and Shelbee Rodgers.

Brignac, who has two years of eligibility left, is a combined 39-10 in two seasons with the Cajuns.

Cavallin, who attended Beau Chene, made one appearance last season. She allowed one hit and struck out one batter against Bryant.

Hamilton was the LSWA's Miss Softball as a senior last season at Rosepine. She struck out a state-record 506 batters in 224 innings, posted a 29-4-1 record and allowed only three earned runs.

Chenault received second-team all-state honors as a senior at Sweeny High in Texas with a 28-5 record. Rodgers was first-team all-state and first-team All-Metro after throwing four perfect games with a 0.75 ERA as a senior for Central High near Baton Rouge.

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Softball: Two Cajuns Grab League Honors - Vallie Gaspard and Donna Bourgeois Recognized

February 15, 2010

www.ragincajuns.com - After jumping out to a 5-0 start over the weekend, Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns softball team had two players earn weekly Sun Belt Awards. Vallie Gaspard was named the league’s hitter of the week, while Donna Bourgeois garnered pitcher of the week honors as UL claimed the title at the 24th Annual Louisiana Classic.

Both were named to the 2010 24th Annual Louisiana Classic All-Tournament team, with Gaspard earning Most Valuable Player honors.

Gaspard led the Cajuns’ in the batting box for the tournament, posting a .571 batting average. She was also named the MVP for the tournament.

The speedy slapper recorded eight hits, eight runs and four RBI in 14 at bats. Three of her RBIs were claimed with two outs on the board. She drew two walks and one hit-by-pitch to end with a .647 on-base percentage.

On the bases, she was 2-for-2 on stolen bases. She was perfect in the outfield with 1.000 fielding percentage in six chances.

Donna Bourgeois added another honor to her resume, starting off the 2010 season with a 3-0 record and earning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week honors for the fifth time in her career.

Over the weekend, Bourgeois posted three shutouts. Against Bryant on Friday, she threw three innings in a 16-0 five-inning win, striking out four and allowing no hits. In the complete game against Syracuse, she struck out 10 and gave up just three hits as the Cajuns grabbed a 9-0 win. In the 9-0 run-rule win against Bradley, the hurler allowed just one hit while fanning four.

For the weekend, she walked just one batter and allowed only four hits in 51 at bats. Opponents had a tough time in the batter’s box, posting a paltry .078 batting average.

Bourgeois was named the 2009 Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year and was picked as the league’s preseason Pitcher of the Year for 2010. She was also named to the ASA’s Top-50 watch list.

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Brignac shines in UL debut

Dan McDonald

February 10, 2008

RUSTON - With the possible exception of Team USA, Ashley Brignac has had to carry the pitching load for every one of her softball teams.
That's probably why the much-heralded Brignac was as excited as anyone else after UL teammate Donna Bourgeois twirled a shutout in her collegiate debut Saturday - a 6-0 tournament-opening win over UL Monroe in Louisiana Tech's Lady Techster Tournament
"Everyone on this team has been waiting on this for what seems like forever," Brignac said of the opening day of the Ragin' Cajun season. "We just wanted to get started."
And what a start it was. Two hours after Teurlings Catholic product Bourgeois stymied ULM, Brignac was as dominant as expected in finishing off a 13-0 crunching of the host Tech squad.
The pride of River Ridge and John Curtis Christian School made her double-zero uniform number match her runs and walks allowed in the five-inning run-rule victory.

One at-bat marred perfection. Tech's Regan Clark, leading off the second inning, was way late on a swing, but thanks to Brignac's velocity the ball dinged off Clark's bat and flew into right field for a single.

If that bothered Brignac, the 18-year-old didn't show it. She proceeded to strike out five of the next six hitters, and no one else reached base.

"As a coach you never know for sure what's going to happen," said Cajun head coach Stefni Lotief. "You have to be ready when the time comes."

When the time came, several UL defenders became spectators. Right fielder Holly Tankersley handled that one second-inning hit and threw it back in to second baseman Vanessa Soto, and that was the only instance when Soto or any Cajun outfielder touched the ball.

Three ground-ball outs and two infield pop-ups were the only other balls in play, other than catcher Lana Bowers having to throw to first base twice after strikeouts in the dirt.

"She's still developing some things," Lotief said. "She wants to get better, and that's a great statement when you consider the success she's already had."

That reputation made Bourgeois the "other" new Cajun pitcher, and made her debut even more impressive.

"Everyone wanted to see Ashley pitch," said Tankersley, the team's only active senior with previous UL experience. "But Donna's one tough competitor."

"Donna's a drop-ball pitcher," said co-head coach Michael Lotief. "She puts it on the ground, and our defense played well behind her."

"She is just steady," Stefni Lotief said of Bourgeois, who threw 60 of her 84 pitches for strikes. "She worked her game plan and had a lot of success."

Brignac followed and blew everyone away, going to a three-ball count twice in the first inning and only once after that in a no-walk effort. Even that wasn't surprising, since she walked only 13 batters (and allowed only 14) hits in 160 innings last season for John Curtis.

"It was everything I'd hoped for," Brignac said. "We won 13-0. How much better can it get?"

If Saturday was any indication, it can get better.

"She came up to me not long ago and told me she still has a long way to go," Stefni Lotief said. "After today, as a coach, that gives you chills."

Daily Advertiser February 10, 2008

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Cajuns Blank ULM to Open Season

Holly Tankersley (Kirbyville, Texas) broke a scoreless tie in the top of the
third inning with her 49th career home run as Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns
cruised to an opening shutout, 6-0, at the Louisiana Tech Invitational.

RUSTON, La.-Holly Tankersley (Kirbyville, Texas) broke a scoreless tie in the
top of the third inning with her 49th career home run as Louisiana's Ragin'
Cajuns cruised to an opening shutout, 6-0, at the Louisiana Tech

Tankersley finished the day 1-for-3, but made the one hit count. She belted
a three-run shot over the right field fence that proved to be the difference
in the game. Tankersley led the Cajuns squad with three RBI, while also
scoring a run.

In the circle, Donna Bourgeois (Lafayette, La.) earned her first collegiate
victory. The true freshman scattered six hits on the afternoon, but fanned
seven batters in her debut. She allowed just one walk on the morning and did
not allow a batter to get past second base.

The Warhawks threatened in the first inning, but a defensive stand by the
Cajuns ended the hazard. The leadoff batter reached on a single, but was
eliminated by a fielder's choice. A single to left field gave ULM runners at
first and second. The next batter hit a shot to third base. Melissa Verde
(Beaumont, Texas) stepped on the bag for the force out and quickly threw to
first base to complete the double play and end the inning.

The score remained knotted until the third inning. The Ragin' Cajuns started
the inning with a slap single by junior Karli Hubbard (Lafayette, La.).
Freshman Katie Smith (Ruston, La.) followed with a drag bunt for a single to
give the Cajuns their first two hits of the game. After a fly ball to left
field, Tankersley broke the scoreless tie with her first home run of the
season and the 49th of her career.

Leading 3-0, the Cajuns added a run in the top of the fourth inning. Vanessa
Soto (San Diego, Calif.) reached base on a fielding error by the Warhawks.
Gabriele Bridges (Lafitte, La.) singled through the left side of the infield
to give the Cajuns a pair of runners. Brooke Brodhead (Lafayette, La.) lined
a ball off of the pitcher's shin to advance the runners to second and third.
Hubbard grounded out to third base to plate the runner and increase the
Cajuns' lead to 4-0.

Verde leadoff the fifth inning with a walk and Tankersley followed with a
base on balls giving UL a pair or baserunners. A two-out single by Soto
extended UL's lead to 5-0.

The Cajuns added another run in the top of the seventh. With runners on
first and second, Verde doubled off of the right field wall to plate the lead
runner and extend the UL advantage to six runs.

The Ragin' Cajuns will continue the Louisiana Tech Invitational at
approximately 1:15 p.m. against tournament-host Louisiana Tech.


Chris Whitehead
UL-Lafayette Sports Information
201 Reinhardt Drive
Lafayette, LA 70506
(337) 851-2255

February 9, 2008

Softball:  2007, 2008, 2009, 2010