UL Softball Ranked as Top 20 Program
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajun Softball Program is apparently highly thought of by one major softball publication.
D1 Softball, in its rundown of the top 50 programs in college softball, unveiled Louisiana at #16 on the list on Tuesday.
Obviously, some Cajun fans would argue that UL should even be ranked a couple of notches higher, but this shows the high level of respect that the program has around the county
And it's easy to understand why.
Not counting last season, which was canceled in March, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Louisiana has made 21-consecutive NCAA Regional appearances.
Just as impressive, the Cajuns have made 29 appearances over the last 30 times the tournament has been played.
Since 1990, Louisiana has been in the NCAA Tournament every year, with the lone exception of 1998.
How impressive is that?
Well, Louisiana is just one of nine schools to play in the NCAA Tournament every year since 2000, joining Alabama, Arizona, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Washington on the list, while their 29 NCAA Tournament appearances rank eighth in NCAA history.
There's no question they would have added to that streak in 2020, had the season not come to an end, as they were ranked as the top team in the RPI listings.
So, the Cajuns have certainly done their part in the regular season, just to get to the postseason.
And when they've gotten to the postseason, they've normally performed well.
Louisiana has compiled an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 78-61, including an all-time record in Regional play of 66-48.
Their 78 postseason wins rank 13th in NCAA history.
UL, who has won 11 Regional Championships, also has 6 Women's College World Series appearances to their credit.
How about as of late?
Well, in their previous 11 appearances, from 2008-2019, the Cajuns have gone 32-11, while winning seven NCAA Regional titles.
Going back even farther, UL has advanced to Championship Sunday of an NCAA Regional in each of its last 12 appearances (2008-2019) and has made it to the championship round in 15 of the previous 17 years.
The Cajuns went through a stretch (2012-2016), in which they appeared in an NCAA Super Regional for 5-straight years, while also qualifying 6 times in 7 years, and 7 times over a 9-year period.
UL won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game, defeating Texas A&M, 1-0, back on May 18th of 1990.
The Cajuns' first-ever appearance in the WCWS was clinched in 1993, when they went to Ann Arbor, Michigan and knocked off Bowling Green and Michigan (twice), before finishing 3rd in Oklahoma City.
The most heartbreaking Louisiana loss in the NCAA Tournament?
Well, that very debatable; but I think the 1994 team, who went 55-3 in the regular season, was a team that was capable of winning the National Championship.
Unfortunately, they failed to qualify for the WCWS, after losing to Utah in back-to-back games in the Lafayette Regional, in what will always be remembered as a missed opportunity.
Yes, the Louisiana program is one of the best in the nation and deserves such lofty respect.