Lafayette - Seven members of The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns were named to the 2009 All-Sun Belt Softball Team as announced today. Karli Hubbard, Donna Bourgeois and Christi Orgeron picked up top honors, earning Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively.

Karli Hubbard, Donna Bourgeois, Christi Orgeron, Ragin' Cajuns Softball, University of LouisianaHubbard, a three-time All-SBC athlete, proved herself as one of the most consistent hitters not only in the league, but in the country. She ranked nationally in batting average and toughest to strike out. The senior led the first-place Cajuns and the Sun Belt in batting average (.455), base hits (70) and runs scored (40).

Teammate Bourgeois excelled on the mound throughout the season, earning four Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week awards—the most weekly awards of any softball player this year. The sophomore hurler earned herself national rankings in victories, shutouts, earned run average, strikeouts and strikeouts per seven innings. She boasted a 1.07 ERA on the year with 255 strikeouts through 196 innings pitched, and Bourgeois recorded a streak of 28 consecutive batters retired against Ole Miss.

In her first year, Orgeron showed her ability to bounce back. In a month, she raised her batting average from .193 to .300, and she ended the season at .292. The second baseman led all Sun Belt freshmen in home runs with eight and racked up 38 hits. Orgeron came on strong in league play, hitting .329 at the plate with 23 hits and 21 RBI in conference-only games.

Catcher Lana Bowers, first baseman Gabriele Bridges, third baseman Melissa Verde and outfielder Katie Smith joined their UL teammates as All-Conference selections.

Top-seeded Lousiana led the way with seven players voted to the All-Sun Belt teams. Bourgeois was named first team pitcher, while her battery mate Lana Bowers was dubbed first team catcher for the second consecutive year. Melissa Verde was named first team all-conference at third base while Hubbard highlighted the first team outfield.

Gabriele Bridges joined Orgeron on the second team infield, while outfielder Katie Smith also earned all-conference accolades.

The All-Sun Belt honors for Hubbard marked the third time in her career the senior was rewarded by the conference for her performance on the field. The accolades for Bourgeois and Bowers marked the second time in their careers they were named all-conference. The award was the first of their careers for Bridges, Orgeron, Smith and Verde.

The Ragin’ Cajuns open up the 2009 Sun Belt Conference Tournament against in-state rival ULM. Game time against the Warhawks is slated for 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6.

2009 All-Conference Teams

Player of the Year: Karli Hubbard (Louisiana, Sr.)
Pitcher of the Year: Donna Bourgeois (Louisiana, So.)
Freshman of the Year: Christi Orgeron (Louisiana, Fr.)
Newcomer of the Year: Tasha Elmore (Troy, Jr.)
Co-Coach of the Year: Melanie Davis (Troy); Tyra Perry (WKU)

First Team:
Pitchers: Donna Bourgeois (Louisiana, So.); Ashlyn Williams (Troy, So.)
Catcher: Lana Bowers (Louisiana, Jr.)
First Base: Mallory Cantler (North Texas, So.)
Second Base: Terri Ellingsworth (WKU, Sr.)
Third Base: Melissa Verde (Louisiana, Jr.)
Shortstop: Blair Bodenmiller (Florida Atlantic, Jr.)
Outfield: Karli Hubbard (Louisiana, Sr.); Brianna Love (ULM, So.); Heidi Johnson (Troy, Sr.)
Designated Player: Caitlyn Bliss (Florida Atlantic, Sr.)

Second Team:
Pitchers: Ryan Rogge (WKU, Sr.); Beth Pilgrim (South Alabama, Jr.)
Catcher: Jessica Landau (FIU, Sr.)
First Base: Gabriele Bridges (Louisiana, So.)
Second Base: Christi Orgeron (Louisiana, Fr.)
Third Base: Martha Davis (Middle Tennessee, Sr.)
Shortstop: Kala Moore (Troy, Jr.)
Outfield: Mariza Martinez (North Texas, So.); Katie Smith (Louisiana, So.); Tasha Elmore (Troy, Jr.)
Designated Player: Tara Donaldson (South Alabama, Sr.)