Notre Dame's Lavergne inks with Meridian Community College

Notre Dame’s Zoie Lavergne recently signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her softball career at Meridian Community College in Meridian, Miss. On hand for the signing were, seated from left, Judy Lavergne (mother), Zoie Lavergne, Randy Lavergne (father); standing, Lewis Cook (ND administrator and athletic director), Amelia and Mira Lavergne (sisters) and Dustry Collette (ND softball coach).

CROWLEY – Zoie Lavergne’s versatility has been a big plus for the Notre Dame Pioneers’ softball team this season.
She has been flawless at first base for the Lady Pios and she has excelled when given the opportunity to step in the circle and pitch.
Those traits have not gone overlooked, either.
Last week, Lavergne singed a National Letter of Intent to play softball at Meridian Community College in Meridian, Miss. beginning in the fall.
“I was looking at a few other places, but Meridian felt like the best fit for me,” said Lavergne, who turned down a scholarship offer from Hinds Community College. “Me and the coaches get along really well and I just clicked with the teammates. It just felt like I would be a big part of the team next year.”
Lavergne has definitely been a big part of the Lady Pios’ team the last two years. As a junior, she shared pitching duties with Mollie Stelly and was the designated player because of her hitting.
This year, Lavergne earned the starting nod at first base and has been a key cog in the lineup for the No. 3-ranked Lady Pios.
“Last year, she pitched a good bit and she would hit for our right fielder because she has always had  a good bat,” said ND coach Dusty Collette. “She was always a ‘tweener’; she has played the outfield and first base last year. So going into this year, first base was her job to lose and she worked her tail off to be the best first baseman she can be.
“She has really exceeded my expectations at first base and has done an outstanding job in the field for us.”
Lavergne has a fielding percentage of 1.000. Out of 72 chances, she has 14 assits and 58 put outs.
In the circle, Lavergne has seen limited action, but she has recorded 35 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings.
“Zoie has become an all-round great player for us,” said Collette. “Being a utility player like that, she has seen some innings on the mound this year and she has done really well.”
Stelly has pitched the bulk of the innings for the Lady Pios, but Lavergne, a southpaw, brings a whole different look on the mound.
“Having Zoie on the mound is a huge change up from Mollie,” said Collette. “You know, righty-lefty; they throw different pitches, they have different spins and it comes from a different location. So it works well when we rotate them out in between innings in a game and also when she goes on her own, she does well.
“She’s been a huge asset for us both pitching and at first base.”
And her numbers at the plate aren’t too shabby either.
Lavergne, hitting in the seven-hole most of the season, has posted an average of .393 with nine doubles,  one home run and 14 RBI.
“Zoie has been a very solid and consistent hitter for us this year,” said Collette. “She hits seventh in our lineup but that doesn’t mean she is a weaker hitter than the girls at the top of the lineup.
“I try to do a good job of spreading it out and keeping some of our better hitters at the bottom because I like to have speed in front of some of our power hitters.”
Lavergne had a pair of doubles and two RBI Thursday in the Lady Pios’ 8-6 loss to Kaplan. Her lone home run, a solo bomb to straight away center field, came a week ago in a big district game against North Vermilion.
“She has been really, really consistent at the plate this year,” said Collette. “It seems like every time she is at the plate and we really need a hit, she gets it.
“And she has some power. When she gets hold of it, it’s going to go for a ride. She hits a lot in the gaps; hard and in the gap, that’s her shot.”
Lavergne was recruited mainly as a pitcher by Meridian, but with her ability to play multiple positions and her consistency at the plate, there’s no telling where she will end up when she suits up for the Lady Eagles.
And it really doesn’t matter to her, either.
“I am willing to play where ever they need me,” said Lavergne. “They are looking at my pitching and my hitting. When I’m not pitching I will probably be playing first base.”
Collette feels that no matter where Lavergne plays, she will be an asset to the Lady Eagles.
“Talking to their coaches, they seemed really excited about her as a pitcher,” said Collette. “They love lefties to begin with but they love her attitude and like I told them, her work ethic is awesome. She is always striving to be better.
“I think they really like her as a pitcher and they also know that she is a quality first baseman. So I think that having that capability to play other positions helps her out too.”
Lavergne is the daughter of Randy and Judy Lavergne of Rayne.

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