Who is the Best Team UL Softball Will Face This Weekend?
Who is the best team the 10th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns will face this weekend, when they open their 2020 regular-season schedule, playing host to the 34th Louisiana Classics at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park?
Louisiana will play twice on Friday, facing Ball St. at 4 pm and UTSA at 6 o'clock, before playing twice more on Saturday, against North Texas at 2 pm and UTSA at 4 o'clock.
The best team UL will likely be competing against this weekend is the North Texas Mean Green, who return 11 players from a team that went 35-19 last season.
The preseason favorite to win Conference USA, North Texas features Hope Trautwein, the Conference USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year, who went 15-12 with a 2.48 ERA. as a sophomore last season.
Centerfielder Katie Clark and shortstop Lacy Gregory are two other preseason all-conference picks.
Clark hit .404 with 15 stolen bases last season, while Gregory hit .319, to go along with five home runs and 43 runs batted in.
North Texas should approach 40 wins again this season, and will likely finish near the top of the Conference USA standings, which will help the Cajuns, from an RPI standpoint.
UTSA, who went 21-31 in 2019, is picked 10th in the Preseason Conference USA Coaches Poll.
The Roadrunners do return their top two hitters, in infielder Madison Washington, who hit .326 with 8 homers and 23 RBI's, and outfielder Celeste Loughman, who hit .324 with 15 stolen bases.
UTSA needs to improve on their 5.20 team ERA. if they're going to be better this season.
Ball St., who went 34-20 last season, is picked to finish third in the regular season by the MAC's preseason coaches poll.
The Cardinals are led by junior catcher Stacy Payton, who hit .318 with a team-high 43 RBI's last season, good enough to earn All-MAC First Team honors, and sophomore pitcher Tieghan Morio, a Second-Team All-MAC performer, who went 6-3 with a 2.56 ERA inside the circle last season.
It should be a fun weekend at Lamson Park, regardless of who Louisiana is playing, but it looks as though North Texas will provide the stiffest competition.