The first women’s softball game between Northwestern State University and Southeastern Louisiana University was played in 1985, but it wasn’t until three and a half decades later, in 2019, that the Southland Conference rivals established an official rivalry and its trophy.
With their passion to promote and advance women’s collegiate athletics, specifically softball, Marcia and Cameron Barr approached the two universities with their idea for The Cypress Trophy to be awarded to the winner of the annual softball series between the Lady Demons and Lady Lions.
The bald cypress is the official state tree of Louisiana, beautifully landscaping scenic bayous, lakes, and waterways stretching between and beyond the state’s oldest settlement and its strawberry capital. The needles of the bald cypress are flat and yellow-green in summer, turning rusty orange in autumn, reflectively symbolic of the respective athletic programs. The Barrs graciously donated a young cypress tree to both universities for planting at their softball facilities.
Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, of which Cameron was a member and major influencer before his passing in December 2020 made the inaugural presentation of The Cypress Trophy on March 30, 2019, to the Lady Demons who swept the three-game series.
May 7-9, 2021, several members of the Sig Tau Family traveled to Natchitoches for the three-game series and dedication of the trophy in honor of Marcia and Cameron Barr.