Lamar softball enjoyed record-breaking season
BEAUMONT – The 2015 season was a record-breaking one for the Lamar University softball team.
The Lady Cardinals (26-28 overall, 14-10 Southland Conference) set team records for wins, conference wins, runs scored (285), doubles (78), RBIs (242), on-base percentage (.380) and stolen bases (73) as they finished third in the Southland Conference Tournament for their best-ever showing.
Defensively, the Lady Cardinals turned 25 double plays, equaling the school mark set in 1984.
“Any time you set that many records, you’ve probably had a great season,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “Looking back, we had a great offensive year.”
Junior shortstop Stephanie Meeuwsen moved into the top spot on the all-time list with 89 runs scored, and her 151 career hits are tied for the school record, first set by Donna Dugas, who played for the Lady Cardinals from 1984 through 1987. Meeuwsen ended the season with a school-record streak of reaching base safely in 24 consecutive games.
Senior Shannon Sain set the school single-season record with 35 RBIs. Senior Casey Cromwell’s .456 on-base percentage set a school mark this season. Cromwell also holds the Lamar career records for home runs (19) and RBIs (69).
Junior left fielder Sarah Ragsdale set a school record with 17 stolen bases this season. Ragsdale wrapped up the season by setting single-game records with six hits and four stolen bases in a Southland Conference Tournament game at Northwestern State.
Freshman pitcher Laura Napoli went 19-17 to set a single-season record for wins by a pitcher. She also tied the single-season school record with two saves.
The Lady Cardinals had three players named third-team All-Southland Conference selections: Cromwell at 2B, Sain as utility player and Napoli at pitcher. In addition, Meeuwsen was an honorable-mention selection at shortstop, while sophomore Brynn Baca was honorable mention at catcher.
Ragsdale, who tied a Southland Conference record with 10 hits at the tournament, joined Napoli as all-tournament selections.
“We had so many different players contribute this year,” Bruder said. “It’s tough to lose players like Casey Cromwell and Shannon Sain, but look at all of the starters we have returning. With the newcomers we have coming in, I’m already excited about next year.”
In addition to be a record-setting season, 2015 also saw the Lady Cardinals move into the brand-new Lamar Softball Complex, allowing LU to play home games on campus for the first time in program history.
“I don’t think we’ll ever get tired of being able to play on campus,” Bruder said. “It’s so much easier just to walk out your door and have the field right there. I’m looking forward to being able to have fall practice right here this upcoming season.”
Finishing touches will be put on the complex this summer, with permanent grandstands and a covered hitting facility at the top of that list.
“This place is going to be amazing,” Bruder said. “It’s going to be a great place to play our games and for our fans to watch us.”
Bruder is hopeful those fans will see many more broken records in the near future.