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Softball: Five First Team Picks Highlight All-Louisiana Honors

LAFAYETTE – Five members of the 11th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team received first team honors on the 2015 All-Louisiana Collegiate Softball Team, tied for the highest total amongst the state’s collegiate softball programs, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association announced Saturday evening.
The Ragin’ Cajuns representatives on the All-Louisiana First Team included Jordan Wallace (P), Lexie Elkins (C), Kelsey Vincent (1B), Haley Hayden (2B) and Samantha Walsh (3B).
Louisiana shared state-high honors for first team selections with LSU. It’s the second straight year the Cajuns and Tigers topped the charts in first team selections, with five representing one more than in 2014 for both programs. It’s the eighth straight year that the Ragin’ Cajuns led the state in first-teamers.
Three other Ragin’ Cajuns were honored by the LSWA as Shellie Landry (OF) was named to the All-Louisiana Second Team and Aleah Craighton (OF) and Leandra Maly (DP) received honorable mention.
An LSWA panel of media and sports publicists selected the All-Louisiana team, based on statistics and performances through the teams’ conference tournaments.
Wallace (18-5, 2.18 ERA), a senior from Weatherford, Texas, was named to the All-Louisiana First Team for the third time in her four-year career. She spent the entire season ranked Top 10 nationally in fewest hits allowed per seven innings and limited opponents to a career-best .156 batting average.
Elkins and Hayden earned repeat first team honors while Vincent and Walsh, both honorable mention last year, were selected to either team for the first time in their career.
Elkins, a first team NFCA All-American, entered the NCAA Tournament with 29 home runs and finished the season with 32, which led all levels of collegiate softball and tied for second on the NCAA all-division season list. She unseated past LSWA Hitter of the Year and Ragin’ Cajuns All-American Danyele Gomez as the school’s single-season home run record holder, besting Gomez’s 30 home runs hit in 2006.
Hayden, a sophomore from West Monroe, reached 60 runs, 60 hits and 50 RBI for the second straight year and led Louisiana in multiple-hit games with 20. At the end of the regular season, she ranked No. 4 in the NCAA stats in runs per game (1.29).
Vincent (18 HR, 40 RBI) and Walsh (14 HR, 46 RBI) each recorded career-highs in home runs and RBI.
Landry returned to the All-Louisiana Second Team for the first time since her freshman campaign in 2013. Adding in last year’s honorable mention she has appeared on the All-Louisiana Team in each of the first three years of her career.
A second-team pick on the NFCA All-America Team, Landry played error-free in left field and ended the regular season ranked Top 20 in the NCAA in total home runs (19) and home runs per game (0.42), Top 30 in slugging percentage (.838) and Top 40 in RBI/game (1.15).
Both Craighton and Maly received their first All-Louisiana honor. Craighton hit above .400 the season’s first five weekends and carried a .360-plus average throughout the season. Maly took over at designated played on Feb. 21 and produced her highest hits tally in a Cajuns uniform.
LSU’s Bianka Bell, who hit .459 and collected 36 extra base hits, was selected the state’s Hitter of the Year, freshman right-hander Carley Hoover was chosen Pitcher of the Year and Beth Torina was named Coach of the Year. The other major awards went to McNeese State’s Erika Piancastelli who won Freshman of the Year and Louisiana Tech’s Krysta Tutsch who was chosen Newcomer of the Year.
The Ragin’ Cajuns finished the 2015 campaign with a 42-12 record. Louisiana claimed its second straight Sun Belt Conference regular season championship and 13th in the 15 years of league competition since 2001. The squad appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the 17th straight year and 25th time in the past 26 years dating back to 1990. Louisiana hosted an NCAA Regional at Lamson Park for the third time in the past four years (2012, 2014, 2015) and advanced to an NCAA Super Regional for the fourth straight year (2012-15).
For info and updates on Ragin’ Cajuns softball follow the team on twitter @RaginCajunSB.

First Team
Pitcher: Carley Hoover (LSU)
Pitcher: Jordan Wallace (Louisiana)
Catcher: Lexie Elkins (Louisiana)
First Base: Kelsey Vincent (Louisiana)         
Second Base: Haley Hayden (Louisiana)      
Third Base: Samantha Walsh (Louisiana)     
Shortstop: Bianka Bell (LSU)               
Outfield: A.J. Andrews (LSU)
Outfield: Kellye Kincannon (Northwestern State)        
Outfield: Bailey Landry (LSU)
Designated Player: Sahvanna Jaquish (LSU)  
Utility: Emily Vincent (McNeese State)           
Hitter of the Year:  Bianka Bell, LSU
Pitcher of the Year:  Carley Hoover, LSU
Newcomer of the Year:  Krysta Tutsch, Louisiana Tech
Freshman of the Year:  Erika Piancastelli, McNeese State
Coach of the Year:  Beth Torina, LSU
Second Team
Pitcher: Mikayla Brown (Northwestern State)   
Pitcher: Allie Walljasper (LSU)  
Catcher: Erika Piancastelli (McNeese State)   
First Base: Brittney Jones (Northwestern State)
Second Base: Taylor Simon (LSU-Alexandria)           
Third Base: Kelsey Hollier (LSU-Alexandria)   
Shortstop: Sydney Booker (Southeastern Louisiana)   
Outfield: Katie Lacour (Southeastern Louisiana)
Outfield: Shellie Landry (Louisiana)  
Outfield: Brooke Thomas (LSU-Alexandria)    
Designated Player: Cassandra Barefield (Northwestern State)
Utility: Bianca Duran (Louisiana Tech)
Honorable Mention
Pitcher:  Kaycee Spears, LSU-Alexandria; Marci West, LSU-Alexandria
Catcher:  Kellsi Kloss, LSU; Krysta Tutsch, Louisiana Tech
First Base:  Alexis Cacioppo, Louisiana-Monroe
Second Base:  Miyuki Navarete, Louisiana-Monroe
Third Base:  Anna Cross, Louisiana Tech; Haley Stevenson, Nicholls State
Shortstop:  Faith Bohack, Louisiana-Monroe
Outfield:  Aleah Craighton, Louisiana; Emily Griggs, LSU; Lauren Langner, McNeese State; Rochelle Roberts, Louisiana-Monroe
Designated Player:  Leandra Maly, Louisiana; Emily Nolan, LSU-Alexandria; Pauline Tufi, Louisiana Tech

Matt Hebert
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Sports Information Assistant
Office: (337) 482-6329
Cell: (337) 288-6023