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Softball: Bryan, Ellyson Highlight Group of Nine Ragin’ Cajuns on All-Louisiana Softball Team
Louisiana Softball has greatest representation for the second straight edition of the award listing
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball led the state with nine representatives on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) 2021 All-Louisiana Collegiate Softball Team, highlighted by Ciara Bryan and Summer Ellyson capturing the top two individual awards.
Bryan was selected as the state's Hitter of the Year and Ellyson earned repeat honors as Pitcher of the Year (won the award in 2019).
Newcomer of the Year was also awarded to Bryan, a transfer from Georgia who completed her career with the Ragin' Cajuns. She becomes the second individual to win two major awards in the same season, joining former Louisiana great Lexie Elkins (hitter, newcomer) who first accomplished the feat in 2014.
Bryan, the Sun Belt's Player and Newcomer of the Year, First Team NFCA All-Central Region selection and Softball America Second Team All-American, recorded at least one base hit in all but six of the 59 games Louisiana played. The Covington, Ga., native totaled 87 base hits which marked the third-most in the nation during the 2021 season. She also led Ragin' Cajuns in extra base hits (21), posted 39 RBI, swiped a team-leading 37 stolen bases and scored a team-leading 63 runs.
Ellyson is the fifth person since the award was introduced in 2003, and the third Ragin' Cajun, to win Pitcher of the Year multiple times. She joins fellow Louisiana pitchers Brooke Mitchell and Ashley Brignac in achieving the superlative.
Ellyson totaled 25 wins in the final campaign with her hometown Ragin' Cajuns, increasing her career total to 99 wins which ranks No. 3 in the program's record book. The "super senior" year line for Ellyson included a 25-7 overall record with a 2.42 ERA and 191 strikeouts. She surpassed 20 wins for the third time, 100 strikeouts for the third time and limited foes to 145 hits over 179-2/3 innings pitched.
Louisiana received four All-Louisiana First Team selections, also a state-high total, topping that category for the 12th time in the past 13 seasons. Joining Bryan and Ellyson on the first team are Justice Milz at first base and Jade Gortarez at second base.
Bryan, Ellyson and Milz each received double-digit first team votes, with the 15 for Bryan (out of 16 possible) leading the way. Ellyson, who garnered 14 first team votes, completes her career as a three-time All-Louisiana first-team selection.
The Ragin' Cajuns five selections on the All-Louisiana Second Team marked the most amongst the state schools and included: pitcher Kandra Lamb, Kaitlyn Alderink at third base, Alissa Dalton at shortstop, Kendall Talley in the outfield and Julie Rawls at utility.
Both Dalton (2018-19, 2021) and Rawls (2019, 2021) captured a spot on the All-Louisiana Softball Team each season that they wore the Ragin' Cajuns uniform.
The nine total All-Louisiana selections are the second-most in program history, tying the 2019 squad and one shy of the program-record 10 received in 2012.
A Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of sports media and college softball publicists selected the 35th edition of the All-Louisiana Softball team, based on statistics and performances through the teams' conference tournaments. There was no All-Louisiana team in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic shortened that season.
During the 2021 season, the Ragin' Cajuns reached the 40-win mark for the 22nd consecutive completed season, by closing out the regular season winning 25 of the final 29 games. Louisiana was ranked the final national polls by Softball America (No. 19), ESPN/USA Softball (No. 21) and USA Today/NFCA (No. 22).
Louisiana repeated as Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament champions highlighted by an 11-1 record, regular season and tournament combined, against the league's other three NCAA Tournament participants (Texas State, Troy and South Alabama).
Louisiana extended its streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, now at 22 straight dating back to 1999, by appearing in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. The program advanced to Championship Sunday in Baton Rouge, marking the 13th consecutive NCAA Regionals appearance reaching the championship round.
2021 ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGIATE SOFTBALL TEAM
Pitcher: Summer Ellyson (Louisiana)
Pitcher: Ali Kilponen (Louisiana State)
Pitcher: Whitney Tate (McNeese)
Catcher: Olivia Hennen (LSU-Eunice)
First Base: Justice Milz (Louisiana)
Second Base: Jade Gortarez (Louisiana)
Third Base: Amanda Doyle (Louisiana State)
Shortstop: Taylor Pleasants (Louisiana State)
Outfield: Aliyah Andrews (Louisiana State)
Outfield: Ciara Bryan (Louisiana)
Outfield: Aeriyl Mass (Southeastern Louisiana)
Designated Player: Kaylee Lopez (McNeese)
Utility: Uchenna Jong Loy (Bossier Parish)
Hitter of the Year: Ciara Bryan, Louisiana
Pitcher of the Year: Summer Ellyson, Louisiana
Newcomer of the Year: Ciara Bryan, Louisiana
Freshman of the Year: Taylor Pleasants, LSU
Coach of the Year: Beth Torina, LSU
Pitcher: Primrose Aholelei (Bossier Parish)
Pitcher: Kandra Lamb (Louisiana)
Pitcher: Shelbi Sunseri (Louisiana State)
Catcher: Samantha Eckert (Bossier Parish)
First Base: Haylee Ladner (Bossier Parish)
Second Base: Cayla Jones (Northwestern State)
Third Base: Kaitlyn Alderink (Louisiana)
Shortstop: Alissa Dalton (Louisiana)
Outfield: Ciara Briggs (Louisiana State)
Outfield: Audrey Greely (Southeastern Louisiana)
Outfield: Kendall Talley (Louisiana)
Designated Player: E.C. Delafield (Northwestern State)
Utility: Julie Rawls (Louisiana)
Pitcher: Jenna Edwards, McNeese; Heather Zumo, Southeastern Louisiana
Catcher: Chloe Gomez, McNeese; Lauryn McMahon, LSU-Alexandria
First Base: Georgia Clark, Louisiana State; Brooke Romano, Baton Rouge Community College
Second Base: Dylan Sanay, Bossier Parish
Third Base: Haylee Brinlee, McNeese
Shortstop: Tuliliau Sosi, Bossier Parish
Outfield: Kennedy Cox, Bossier Parish
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