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Softball: UL, LSU rule state team

Softball: UL, LSU rule state team

Softball: UL, LSU rule state team

Written for the LSWA

After two memorable battles in NCAA Regional play, both the UL Ragin’ Cajuns and the LSU Lady Tigers softball teams stood out again on the 2006 All-Louisiana softball team.
UL’s Danyele Gomez earned Hitter of the Year honors, LSU’s Emily Turner was the Pitcher of the Year and LSU coach Yvette Girouard is the Coach of the Year.

Also, UL pitcher Krystal Lewallen was named the Newcomer of the Year.

No. 15 Louisiana (50-12, 12-3 Sun Belt in 2006) placed a total of five on the All-Louisiana team- second most in the state trailing only LSU’s six selections.
Gomez (.456, 28 HRs, 64 RBIs) earned repeat honors as the top hitter in the state – the second straight season that the state’s top slugger hailed from Cajun Country.

Gomez was joined by first baseman Lacey Bertucci and pitcher Ashley Kircherg as UL’s selections voted onto the first team.

Senior right fielder Ashley Evans and senior pitcher Krystal Lewallen were the Cajuns’ representatives on the second team.

An additional honor came for the Cajuns as senior second baseman Brittany Bryant was an honorable mention selection.

Softball playing schools in the state had athletes nominated by the school sports information contacts and then a panel of LSWA members voted on the final team based on regular season statistical information.

Lewallen was also the recipient of the state’s Newcomer of the Year award. The Division II transfer from Northern Kentucky posted a 24-8 mark in the pitcher?226-130?s circle for UL with a 1.90 ERA and 198 strikeouts in regular season play.

Lewallen was the winning pitcher when the Cajuns topped defending national champion Michigan at the Judi Garman Classic in March. She is the first UL player to win Louisiana Newcomer of the Year since Becky McMurtry (current Northwestern State head coach) won the award in 2002.

Gomez collected the fourth All-Louisiana honor of her brilliant career. It’s the third time that she?226-130?s made the first team – coincidentally all first team selections came with her playing in the outfield.

Kirchberg closes out her collegiate career with her very first All-Louisiana honor. The 2006 Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year went through the regular season 23-1, undefeated in league play (8-0).

She topped the Sun Belt with a 1.77 ERA and 12 complete game shutouts and was the only Sun Belt pitcher with over 100 innings pitched that held opponents below 100 hits (87 hits over 150 2/3 innings). Kirchberg was also named to the All-Sun Belt Conference First Team and NFCA All-South Region team.

Kirchberg joined LSU’s Emily Turner as the state’s top two pitchers named to the first team. It’s the fourth straight year a UL pitcher made the first team.

Evans was a second-team pick to the All-Louisiana team despite ending the season ranked fifth in the nation with 21 home runs and earning NFCA All-South Region honors and first team All-Sun Belt honors.

Lewallen’s selection to the second team meant the Cajuns’ pitching staff was selected All-Louisiana. LSU’s Dani Hofer was also named second team to give the state’s top two softball powers all four pitcher slots.

UL, the six-time defending Sun Belt regular season champion, ended the 2006 regular season with at least 50 wins for the fifth time in six seasons under co-head coaches Stefni and Michael Lotief. UL advanced to the program’s 16th NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 17 seasons


First Team

P Emily Turner, LSU

P Ashley Kirchberg, UL

C Regan Clark, Louisiana Tech

1B Lacey Bertucci, UL

2B Vanessa Soto, LSU

SS Kat Harrell, Nicholls State

3B Leah Peterson, Nicholls

OF Danyelle Gomez, UL

OF Leslie Klein, LSU

OF Micah Rhodes, Centenary

UT Amanda Glenn, Northwestern

DH Lauren Castle, LSU

Second Team

P Krystal Lewallen, UL

P Dani Hofer, LSU

C Heather Williams, UL Monroe

1B Stephanie Hill, LSU

2B Brandi Hahn, Nicholls State

SS Emerald Doria, Centenary

3B Jennifer Mango, Centenary

OF Emma Barnes, Louisiana Tech

OF Ashley Evans, UL

OF Sarah Noack, NSU

UT Jessica Elson, La. Tech

DH Ashley Cameron, La. Tech

Specialty Awards

Hitter of the Year Danyelle Gomez, UL

Pitcher of the Year Emily Turner, LSU

Freshman of the Year: Emma Barnes, Louisiana Tech; Emerald Doria, Centenary; Dani Hofer, LSU

Newcomer of the Year Krystal Lewallen, UL

Coach of the Year Yvette Girouard, LSU

Honorable Mention

Christina Allen (McNeese State), Brittany Bryant (UL), Sandy Clark (Louisiana College), Quinlan Duhon (LSU), Camille Harris (LSU), Yuliana January (Louisiana College), Jamilia Taylor (Southern)

Originally published June 4, 2006