|Christi OrgeronUL-Lafayette Softball, 2011-12 Corbett Winner
For Christi Orgeron, the past year began and finished with "USA" on her chest and a gold medal around her neck; and in between, she turned in one of the best seasons in the history of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette softball program. Those accomplishments led to her being named the winner of the James J. Corbett Award as the top female amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana.
After playing for USA Softball and capturing a Gold Medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in October, the Mount Carmel High School product returned to Lafayette to prepare for her final season with the Ragin' Cajuns. And what a season it was.
In addition to being named the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, she was a finalist for both the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honor. She was also selected as the Sun Belt Conference Female Student-Athlete of the Year (for all sports). She led the country in RBI (94, 1.59 per game) for the second consecutive season while ranking fourth nationally in runs scored (66) and seventh in home runs (22) while also batting .351. The New Orleans native broke the SBC and UL career RBI mark against Georgia Tech (3/22), and closed her career ranked sixth all-time in NCAA history with 288. The fifth-year senior had six grand slams this season and finished with nine in her career, both marks are tied for NCAA records. The four-time SBC Player of the Week surpassed the SBC doubles record with 63, and is third on the school's career homerun charts with 70. She was recognized as the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week (2/13-2/19) and was selected to multiple All-America teams.
Orgeron's efforts did not only pay off in individual accolades as she led the Ragin' Cajuns to a 53-6 overall record and a season-high ranking of No. 6 in the country. After hosting (and winning) their first regional since 2002, they defeated Arizona State on the road in the first game of a Super Regional, before dropping the final two.
Ragin' Cajun softball coach Stefni Lotief said that Orgeron "shows leadership beyond her years." And, "she plays at an elite level while being a role model, community leader, and great teammate. She represents the Sun Belt Conference with dignity and pride throughout the country."
As soon as the collegiate season was completed, Orgeron was again selected for Team USA and helped the national team to a Gold Medal in the World Cup of Softball. She has continued to play with Team USA since earning her second Gold Medal of the Year.
Story submitted by John Sudsbury of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.