Softball: Dalton, Ellyson Headline 2019 Preseason All-Sun Belt Awards
Louisiana selected as the favorite to capture the league title
LAFAYETTE– 15th-ranked Louisiana Softball was selected to finish atop the 2019 Sun Belt Conference standings and juniors Alissa Dalton and Summer Ellyson captured top billing on the Preseason All-Sun Belt team which was unveiled on Friday.
Dalton, one of the nation's toughest to strikeout and sure-handed shortstops, was chosen as the SBC Preseason Player of the Year. Ellyson, the lone returning 20-game winner in the league, was selected as the SBC Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
The 2018 first team All-SBC pair was joined on this season's preseason squad by seniors Lexie Comeaux and Kara Gremillion. The Ragin' Cajuns garnered a conference-high four selections on the Preseason All-SBC squad.
Louisiana received eight of the possible 10 first place votes, and 98 points overall, in the SBC's preseason coaches' poll in landing the first-place distinction. Texas State (88) and Troy (82) each received a first-place vote and finished second and third, respectively.
Dalton provided a strong glove at shortstop with only eight errors in 189 chances in her debut with the Ragin' Cajuns last season. She struck out only seven times in 217 plate appearances (ranked Top 15 nationally) and led Louisiana with 20 multiple-hit games.
Ellyson, who sported a 23-10 mark and 1.53 ERA in 2018, ranked Top 40 nationally in all major pitching statistical categories. The Lafayette native was the Sun Belt's leader in opposing batting average (.176) and yielded three earned runs or less in 30 of 33 starts.
A reigning two-time first team All-Sun Belt performer at third base, Gremillion was a lockdown force at third base once again last season, turning in a career-high 139 assists. She reached the 40-hit plateau for the third straight season and swiped a career-high 17 stolen bases.
Comeaux produced 12 multiple-hit games, had a team-high eight multiple-RBI games and led the squad in extra base hits (16) during the 2018 season. She exited the season as Louisiana's top hitter, hitting .357 with 11 extra base hits, 19 RBI and a .560 slugging percentage from April 1 through season's end.
The 2019 season, the second the for Ragin' Cajuns under the guidance of head coach Gerry Glasco, begins on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. vs. Fordham at Lamson Park in the opening contest of the Ragin' Cajuns Classic.
SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE • Season tickets, beginning at $100, are available online at RaginCajuns.com using Account Manager, by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2170 or by visiting the ticket office in person Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and extended hours during Ragin' Cajuns basketball events. • Fans who purchase season tickets receive priority access for any potential NCAA postseason games held at Lamson Park. • For information on premium seating and parking at Lamson Park, contact the Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation (RCAF) at (337) 851-2903. General admission parking at Cajun Field will be free for all games during the 2019 season.
2019 SUN BELT SOFTBALL PRESEASON POLL & HONORS Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points 1. Louisiana (8) 98 2. Texas State (1) 88 3. Troy (1) 82 4. UT Arlington 62 5. Georgia State 59 6. South Alabama 57 7. Georgia Southern 39 8. Coastal Carolina 27 ULM 27 10. Appalachian State 11