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Softball: Bertucci, Tankersley 1st-team picks

UL’s struggles to live up to its high softball standards during the 2007 season were reflected on the All-Louisiana Collegiate Softball Team announced today by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

The Ragin’ Cajuns, normally one of the dominant teams for selections onto the squad, were limited to two first-team and two second-team selections. Voting was conducted by an LSWA panel of voters.

First baseman Lacey Bertucci and utility player Holly Tankersley

each earned their second All-Louisiana first-team honors, while pitcher Brittany Cuevas and outfielder Karli Hubbard were selected to the second team.

In addition, third baseman Melissa Verde was an honorable mention selection.

LSU, which advanced to the NCAA Super Regional and was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally, claimed six first-team slots as well as taking four of the five top individual honors. Outfielder Leslie Klein was selected as Hitter of the Year – by a one-vote margin over Tankersley – Dani Hofer was a unanimous selection as Pitcher of the Year, and outfielder Jazz Jackson was named Freshman of the Year (7-3 over Cuevas).

LSU’s Yvette Girouard won her 13th state Coach of the Year honor in her career at both UL and LSU. The other top honor went to Southeastern Louisiana second baseman Arica Rodriguez, named Newcomer of the Year in a 6-4 vote over LSU and Lafayette product Tayl’r Hollis.

Voting was based on teams’ regular-season play through their conference tournaments.

Bertucci finished her senior season with a .277 average along with 14 homers and 45 RBIs, moving into second place on UL’s career home run list with 58 and into fourth place in career RBIs with 188. She set school records for walks in a season (61) and career (143) and had only four errors the entire season at first base for a .988 fielding mark.

A native of Folsom and product of Covington High, Bertucci earned All-Louisiana first-team honors last year and second-team selection in 2004. She was also a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference pick.

Tankersley led the Cajuns in homers (18) and runs batted in (61), with her homer total the sixth-highest in UL history. She also hit .403 with team highs in hits (77), runs (60) and slugging percentage (.733).

Tankersley, a product of Kirbyville, Texas, was an All-Louisiana pick as a freshman in 2004 when she was also the state’s Freshman of the Year, and earned All-South Region honors for the second time this season along with All-Sun Belt honors.

Cuevas led UL’s pitching corps with a 31-11 record and a 1.99 ERA as a freshman, while Hubbard ranked second on the squad in hitting at .328 and was second on the team in hits (63) and stolen bases (11). Verde was the team’s third-leading hitter at .303 in her freshman season.