The Sun Belt Conference announced on Monday its 2010 Sun Belt Preseason Poll with Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns softball team claiming the top spot after receiving eight first-place votes by the league's nine head coaches.
UL also had a league-high five players selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team, with junior pitcher, Donna Bourgeois, claiming Preseason Pitcher of the Year honors. It is the second consecutive year that a Cajun has claimed the honor. Current teammate Ashley Brignac earned the honor at the start of the 2009 season.
Bourgeois was the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year in 2009 after posting 30 wins in 41 appearances for UL. She earned SBC First Team Honors, Sun Belt All-Tournament team honors, was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region and was named All-Louisiana Pitcher of the Year by the LWSA.
Joining Bourgeois are Lana Bowers (Catcher), Melissa Verde (Third Base), Gabriele Bridges (Designated Player) and Vallie Gaspard (Outfielder).
FAU's senior shortstop Blair Bodenmiller along with Louisiana-Monroe junior outfielder Brianna Love were named Co-Preseason Players of the Year as well to the Preseason All-Conference Team.
North Texas' Mallory Cantler along with Bourgeois, Bowers, Verde, and Bodenmiller received top preseason honors by the coaches for the second year in a row.
The Cajuns will open the 2010 season on Friday against Bryant as they host the 24th annual Louisiana Classic tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT at Lamson Park. Bradley and Syracuse will also square-off against the Cajuns over the three-day tournament.