April 22, 2011
BEAUMONT - Lamar University is taking the necessary steps to reinstate softball as a NCAA Division I sport by setting target dates for hiring a coaching staff and beginning play, announced Director of Athletics Larry Tidwell on Friday.
The school plans to hire a softball staff this summer, allowing the coaches a year to recruit and begin play as a full Southland Conference member for the 2013 season. This is along the same lines as Lamar handled the return of its football program.
"We are very excited about bringing softball back to Lamar University," said Tidwell in making the announcement. "This not only makes us a more complete athletic department, but it brings back a sport that is very popular in the Golden Triangle. It also helps us to participate in more Southland Conference sponsored sports."
Lamar University last sponsored softball for the 1987 season before dropping the sport. From 1983-87, Lamar compiled a 19-33 (.365) record in Southland Conference play and a 57-156 (.267) overall record.
Lamar's best season was in 1986 when the Lady Cardinals finished third in the SLC standings at 8-4, and were 16-19 overall. Donna Dugas was named the SLC Hitter of the Year in 1986. Lamar's only other individual honor on the conference level came in 1985 when Laura Hall was tabbed SLC Newcomer of the Year.
LU previously sponsored softball in the early 1970s competing in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). Lamar finished second in the 1972 AIAW Texas state tournament.