Editor's Note: This is the third in a sport-by-sport series looking at how a conference shift to the WAC would affect UL Lafayette's athletic department. Today: Softball. Wednesday: Basketball.
LOUISIANA La. — Perhaps more than any other coach at Louisiana, Stefni Lotief can balance the speculation about the school's future conference alignment in college athletics.
Already a leading member of the Sun Belt Conference, the school is gauging possible interest from the Western Athletic Conference for its future alignment.
Lotief's Ragin' Cajun softball program is coming off a 43-8 season and a fourth berth in the Women's College World Series in 2003, a campaign that concluded with the Cajuns being ranked No. 8 in the country.
UL had been to the WCWS on three previous occasions in the last decade — in 1993, 1995 and 1996 — and thus was an established national power before the Sun Belt even began including the sport in the 1999-2000 school year.
As a national power, the Cajuns are accustomed to extensive travel to find the best in-season competition.
As the only champion the Sun Belt has had, UL is the school other programs target in their development, much as North Texas is in football.