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Joseph "T. Joe" Gautreaux

Joe Gautreaux's softball career has taken him to teams in Milton, Opelousas, New Iberia, Youngsville, and Lafayette. As a member of the LouAnna Foods squad, Joe played in the World Tournament in Houston. As a member of Cooper Brothers of New Iberia, Joe went to the World Tournament in York, Pennsylvania. As a member of Cobb Directional Drilling, Joe won the very first tournament held at Pelican Park in Carencro back in 1984. The core group of that team went on to play in world tournaments in Pleasant Valley, Texas, and Colorado Springs. As a member of Steven's Mobile Homes, Joe was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Honor in 2021.

No matter what team he was on, Joe Gautreaux was always one of the best players on the field. Joe has a lifetime batting average of approximately .700 and an on-base percentage of .800. As a pitcher, he has a perfect game to his credit--a 15-0 run-rule shutout at Moore Park during his time with Steven's Mobile Homes.

Joe can also say he's played ball with Baseball Hall of Famer Ron Guidry. "Louisiana Lightning" and Joe were teammates with the Mire K. C.s when they won state and world championships back in the day.

Now, after an illustrious career on the diamond, Joe Gautreaux will forever be remembered as a Louisiana USSSA Hall of Famer.

Pete Mercer

What do you do when you want to practice your swing, but you don't have a bat or a ball? Well, if you're as inventive as our next hall-of-famer, you'll use whatever you can find around your house and make do with it.

As a young boy growing up in Mangham, Pete Mercer used a broomstick to hit rocks in an effort to improve his batting skills. Most days, Pete would swing his stick and knock rocks all over the place until the sun went down.

That practice paid off. During his career, Pete achieved a lifetime batting average of .760. Pete hit more than 26-hundred home runs and collected numerous batting and home run awards. His defensive player was just as spectacular. Pete was well known for stopping balls in the gap and throwing out players at will.

Pete was also a champion. USSSA softball career spanned four decades and six teams--Ouachita Sports, Deep South Trophies, JRs Grocery, Bryan Tours, Parker-Breland, Medicine Shoppe, and Pentecostal Softball Club. He won state, regional, and national championships with all of those teams, being named to several all-tournament, All-American, and All-World teams along the way.

After his USSSA playing days were over, Pete moved on to Senior Softball, winning championships there with Bale Chevrolet in Little Rock.

In 2007, Pete was inducted into the Senior Softball Hall of Fame. Tonight, he takes his place in the Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame.

Syvonne Morse

Officiating provides an outlet for retired athletes to stay in the sport or sports they love. That's exactly what led our next hall-of-famer to become a referee and umpire.

Syvonne Morse played college softball and adult-league slow-pitch until a back surgery and several knee surgeries forced her into retirement. That's when she traded in her cleats for a brush and an indicator and began working as an umpire.

Syvonne has practically done it all while wearing the red shirt. She's worked numerous regional and divisional tournaments. She also made history by being one of the first two women umpires at the Men's Hispanic NIT in Harlingen, Texas. In 1991, Syvonne umpired the Women's Major World Series in Lexington, South Carolina, working the plate for the finals. One year later, she was named Louisiana State Umpire of the Year.

In addition, Syvonne helped start the Coast Pride Women's Tournament in Gulfport, Mississippi and served as umpire-in-chief of that tournament (and several others).

Outside of USSSA, Syvonne officiated high school and college fast-pitch softball, working several high school state championships and college games in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia.

It's been a long time coming, but one of Louisiana's top softball umpires of the 1980s and '90s is finally getting her due as a member of the Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame.

Kayla Odom

The Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame is a family affair for our next inductee. Her father in law was inducted in 2001. Her mother in law was inducted in 2011. Tonight, Kayla Odom joins the hall.

Kayla Odom grew up around USSSA. Her FIL, Joey, and her MIL, Lydia, helped grow Louisiana USSSA Baseball into the force that it is today. Kayla grew up wanting to prove her worth to the family... and she did.

Kayla parlayed her love of sports and the outdoors into a career as a USSSA director. In 2007, just one year after graduating from South Cameron High School, Kayla joined USSSA, coordinating baseball tournaments in conjunction with the Louisiana/Texas regional office. As the Director of Internal Operations for Geaux Productions and Sports Productions, Kayla leads of team of more than 50 people to prepare and stage dozens of championship events every year. Recently, Kayla expanded her management business to the Texas Collegiate League, serving as the chief executive officer of Barrel Up Sports and as the co-owner of the Lake Charles Gumbeaux Gators.

The apple truly didn't fall far from the tree. Like her in laws, Kayla Odom has helped USSSA continue to expand in Louisiana and the Gulf South. Like her in laws, she will now be enshrined in the Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame.

Dorian Rawles

Coaching is often a labor of love, and sometimes it's a public service. Our next inductee knows a thing or two about serving the public through coaching. Dorian Rawles's day job is executive director of the Jefferson Parish Housing Services Development District. However, he devoted himself to his community long before ever taking a government job.

When he was a 19-year-old undergraduate student at Dillard University, Dorian began coaching youth sports to help mentor the young men and women in his hometown of New Orleans. In 2004, he founded the New Orleans Monarchs baseball program to further expand his mentorship efforts with the goal of turning young boys into good, responsible men. In 2007, the Monarchs became the first team to represent Louisiana in the USSSA Elite World Series, finishing in fifth place. The Monarchs returned to the Elite World Series in 2008 and 2009.

That success on the diamond is all fine and dandy, but what's most important here is Dorian's impact on the young men he's coached. For the last two decades, the young men who have passed through the Monarchs program have gone to and have been graduated from college and have become productive citizens not only in the New Orleans area, but across Louisiana and the United States. They are living proof of the "Monarch System"--a system Dorian continues to teach to a new generation of young men.

Now, this native of the Seventh Ward will take his much deserved spot in the Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame.

Alfred Rachal

As we mentioned earlier, officiating provides an outlet for retired athletes to stay in the sport or sports they love. Our next hall-of-fame inductee began his officiating career while he was one of Louisiana's best amateur athletes.

Fifty years ago, Alfred Rachal was one of the best baseball players in all of Louisiana. He was a member of the Peabody High School baseball team that won the 1971 Class 3-A state championship. The year before, Alfred and the Warhorses were state runners-up. During his senior year, Alfred was an all-state pitcher and voted Central Louisiana's Outstanding Athlete by local coaches and sportswriters. Alfred then played baseball at Southern University, winning Freshman of the Year honors in 1972 and sharing SWAC Player of the Year honors with future major leaguer Danny Goodwin in 1975.

Alfred started umpiring baseball while he was still playing at Peabody. He began umpiring both baseball and men's fast-pitch softball at the tender age of 17. From there, he branched out to other sports, officiating football, basketball, and slow-pitch softball, working games sanctioned by both USSSA and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for nearly five decades.

On top of all of that, Alfred helped USSSA grow its footprint in Louisiana by serving as a director for a number of USSSA baseball and basketball tournaments across the state. As a director, Alfred also helped train a new generation of officials and scorekeepers who keep games flowing.

When he wasn't working as an official or a tournament director, Alfred was focused on his primary job as an educator, first as the head baseball coach at Bolton High School and, later, as the athletic director and head football coach at his alma mater, Peabody. In 2011, Alfred Rachal received the Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana High School Coaches Association. Tonight, he becomes enshrined in the Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame.

Hodge Thibodeaux

Hodge Thibodeaux transitioned to the world of USSSA softball after a standout athletic career in high school and in college. The Napoleonville native was a standout in football, basketball, and baseball at Assumption High School. After graduating from Assumption in 1990, Hodge transitioned full-time to baseball, playing at pear River Community College in Poplarville, Mississippi.

Once his college days were over, Hodge quickly turned to softball. At first, he split his time between two Class-B teams, JDs and Sternfels, but in 1997, Hodge decided to start his own squad. Over the next 20 years, Hodge played for and managed Duffy's, Stevie G.'s, and the Knights of Columbus Council 1099 team.

After retiring from slow-pitch, Hodge made his next transition, coaching baseball and fast-pitch. Between 2010 and 2022, Hodge split time coaching his son's baseball teams and his daughter's softball squads. Shae and Livie continued their dad's legacy by playing USSSA travel ball before going on to play at his alma mater of Assumption High School. That gave Hodge a chance to return to his old school, this time as an assistant coach for both the baseball and the softball teams.

He's already been inducted into the Hall of Honor as a member of Duffy's. Tonight, Hodge Thibodeaux takes his place in the Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame.