Christi Orgeron, who already has been named the Sun Belt’s Preseason Player of the year, was given the honor.
The New Orleanian was recognized as a USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 10 Finalist last year and is on the 2012 USA Softball Top 50 Watch List.
As a junior, Orgeron was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Sun Belt Tournament Most Outstanding Player after leading UL to its 10th Sun Belt Conference regular season championship and 11th conference tournament title.
She finished the year batting .414 with 23 home runs and a Sun Belt Conference and UL single-season record of 101 RBI — a mark that led the nation in 2011 and ranks third all-time in the NCAA record books. Orgeron is one of only four players in NCAA Division I history to surpass 100 RBI in a season.
Orgeron also led the SBC in slugging percentage (.886), and recorded the second-most hits (87) and total bases (186) in Ragin’ Cajuns single season history. She ranked third in the NCAA in home runs per game (0.37) and second in total home runs (23), second in runs per game (1.21), fifth in slugging percentage (.886), and 21st in doubles per game (0.32).
She was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA First Team All-Region, was All-American Third Team, and helped team USA to a gold medal in the Pan-American Games in October 2011.
Louisiana was voted to win the Sun Belt Conference in 2012 by the league’s nine head coaches, and enters the season ranked No. 23/24 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
The Cajuns have won 10 of the past 11 Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament championships, including the past four. UL posted its seventh 50-plus victory season in 2011 under co-head coaches Stefni and Michael Lotief.
Last season, Louisiana made its 13th straight NCAA Regionals appearance since 1999 and the 21st in the last 22 years. The Cajuns rank ninth in total NCAA appearances with 21, 10th with 50 NCAA Tournament victories and 11th for consecutive NCAA Regional appearances.
The Ragin’ Cajuns open the season Friday as they host the 26th annual Louisiana Classics tournament at Lamson Park in Lafayette.