Former Lady Longhorn pitching star Rachel Ray has been named to the 2005 All-Southland Conference Softball team.
Ray, a 2003 graduate of Payson High School, now attends Southeastern Louisiana State University in Hammond, La.
After a unremarkable freshman season in which she struggled to an 0-3 record, the sophomore blossomed into Southeastern's No. 1 closer. Coming out of the bullpen, she finished the year with a 4-3 record, a 2.42 ERA and had one save.
All four of her wins came in Southland Conference play. For her efforts she was also named the Lions' most improved player.
One of her most impressive stints on the hill was chalked up April 17 in Southeastern's 2-1 victory over Southland foe Northwestern State.
In the rubber game of a series, the former Lady Horn tossed four innings of solid relief to lead her team to the all-important victory.
In mid-April, she was listed on the Southland Conferences' "Pitching Honor Roll" for her relief efforts in helping SLU sweep Texas-Arlington.
After graduating from Payson High in 2003, she turned down a scholarship at nearby Paradise Valley Community College to accept a last minute offer from SLU.
In hurling for the Lions, Ray continues to rely on the pitches she uncorked as a Lady Horn.
"I still have a change-up, fast ball, drop and curve," she said. "But I also have a rise ball too."
In addition to excelling on the field, Ray is doing well in the classroom maintaining a 3.30 grade point average while majoring in nursing.