Jan. 31, 2017 02:01 PM

Photo by Vance Lanier/RaginCajuns.com
The UL Ragin’ Cajuns softball team has a respectable showing of No. 11 in the nation in pre-season polls recently released by both ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 and USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Coaches Poll. The Cajuns ended the 2016 campaign with a record of 46-9, with rankings of 14th and 12th, respectively, in the two polls.

LSU is ranked fifth in the ESPN.com poll and tied for fourth with Florida in the USA Today poll. Both polls have defending national champ Oklahoma ranked No. 1. The Cajuns fell to Oklahoma in straight games last May in the super regional tournament held in Norman, Okla.

With 26 players from last year’s squad returning — including .All American slugger Aleah Craighton and All American pitcher Alex Stewart — the Cajuns will open 2017 Feb. 10 with a 23-game home stand at Lamson Park that will include three tournaments and a Top 25 showdown against Alabama. The Cajuns softball team has won three straight Sun Belt Conference titles and 14 of 16 overall.