2020 UL Softball Preview: The Catchers
This is the second part of a four-part Louisiana Ragin' Cajun 2020 softball preview.
Today, the catchers:
As is the norm, expectations are high for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns heading into the 2020 college softball season.
And with good reason.
After all, the 2019 college softball season was another special one for Louisiana.
The Cajuns were ranked in the top 25 all season, finished the regular season ranked #7, went unbeaten in Sun Belt Conference play, qualified for postseason play for the 20th-consecutive year, and finished the season with a sparkling 52-6 record.
From that squad, UL returns six players who started at least 41 games, along with an All-American pitcher, and a handful of highly-touted transfers.
Catcher looks to be in good hands, Julie Rawls, a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference and All-Louisiana selection in 2019, who can also play the outfield returns for her senior season.
Geana Torres, a sophomore transfer from Missouri, who can play the outfield as well, is also expected to see time behind the plate.
A senior from Hallsville, Texas, Rawls was outstanding in her first season with Louisiana, after transferring from Northwestern St., hitting .360, to go along with 10 home runs and 49 runs batted in.
Those numbers were good enough to land Rawls first-team All-Sun Belt Conference, first-team All-Louisiana, and second-team NFCA All-Central Region honors.
A left-handed catcher, Rawls should be even better behind the plate this season, after being converted from the outfield, where she compiled 17 assists at Northwestern St. in 2018.
Another left-handed hitting catcher, who can also play the outfield, Torres spent most of her time as a designated hitter for the Tigers as a freshman last season, hitting .294 with 4 home runs and 13 runs batted in over 39 games.
A native of Rochester, New Hampshire, Torres, a sophomore, was a member of the Puerto Rican Junior National Team during the 2017 Women’s Softball World Championship, hitting .344 while seeing time at both catcher and in the outfield.
Senior Alaina Guarino, primarily an infielder, can fill in at catcher in an emergency basis.
A native of Montz, Louisiana, Guarino served as one of the team’s everyday bullpen catchers last season, and also appeared in her first career game behind the plate in a win over Georgia St.
Bailey Curry is also capable of handling time behind the plate, and don't forget; Alyssa Dalton began her college career as a catcher at Oklahoma.
Led by Rawls, the Cajuns have a set of catchers that can provide fireworks, offensively, while also being defensive cornerstones.
Catching, like most spots, should be a strength for UL this season.
Lousiana opens its 2020 regular season schedule this Friday, taking on Ball St. and UTSA in the first day of play in the 34th Louisiana Classics.
Tomorrow: the infielders.