2020 UL Softball Preview: The Outfielders
This is the fourth part of a four-part Louisiana Ragin' Cajun 2020 softball preview.
Today, in our final installment, we preview the outfielders.
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.
The outfield looks to be strong against this season, with the ability to provide power, speed, and defense.
Senior Sarah Hudek is back in left-field.
In her first season with Louisiana after playing two seasons at Texas A&M, Hudek hit .331 with 11 home runs 39 runs batted in, and ten stolen bases last season, good enough to earn her first-team All-Sun Belt and All-Louisiana honors, while also being tabbed the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year.
A native of Sugar Land, Texas, Hudek may find herself leading off to start the season, but is capable of hitting in any spot in the batting order.
Junior Raina O'Neal returns in centerfield.
In her first season with UL, after playing with Texas Tech back in 2017, O'Neal was named a second-team All-Sun Belt Conference performer, after hitting /326, to go along with 10 homers, 36 RBI's, and 18 stolen bases.
Freshman Taylor Roman, the daughter of former New Iberia Senior High, LSU, and NFL star Mark Roman, could see a lot of playing time in right-field.
A native of Missouri City, Texas, Roman is expected to supply Louisiana power, not only this year but in years to come.
Kendall Talley, who sat out last season, after transferring from Lamar, could help provide the Cajuns with some depth and versatility, due to her bat and speed.
A first-team All-Southland Conference performer at Lamar in 2018, Talley hit .343, to go along with one home run, 19 runs batted in, 37 runs scored, and 7 stolen.bases.
A four-time, all-district outfielder at San Antonio's East Central High School, Talley has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Senior Morgan Gray will see action in almost every game, either as a pinch-runner or defensive sub, or both.
A native of Houston, Texas, Gray saw time in 37 contests last season, mostly as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement.
Freshman Kylie Neel, a native of Richmond, Texas, provides even more depth in the outfield.
Starting catcher Julie Rawls, who played the outfield at Northwestern St. from 2017-2018, will likely see some limited time in the outfield some this season when getting some rest from the rigors of catching.
Another catcher, Geana Torres, is also capable of playing the outfield, as is Carrie Boswell.
Expect the see a number of different outfield alignment this season, but what it all boils down to is head coach Gerry Glasco has no shortage of talented players at his disposal to play in the outfield this season.
The Cajuns open up their 2020 regular-season schedule on Friday, taking on Ball St. and UTSA in the first day of play in the 34th Louisiana Classics.