2019 All-Louisiana collegiate softball team, award winners announced

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By Ed Cassiere
Assistant Athletics Director for Communications, Xavier University
(written for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association)

Perennially splendid Louisiana-Lafayette and LSU and resilient Louisiana Tech combined to capture the major awards on the 2019 All-Louisiana collegiate softball team.

Summer Ellyson of the Ragin’ Cajuns is Pitcher of the Year, and teammate Alyssa Dalton, a shortstop, is Hitter of the Year. Both are juniors, and both are repeat first-team selections.

LSU senior third baseman Amanda Sanchez, a transfer from Missouri, is Newcomer of the Year, and Louisiana Tech’s Lindsay Edwards, who also plays third, is Freshman of the Year.

Gerry Glasco of UL Lafayette and Mark Montgomery of Louisiana Tech share the Coach of the Year award.

Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of media and sports publicists selected the All-Louisiana team, based on statistics and performances through the teams’ conference tournaments. Those statistics were used in this story.

Ellyson, from Lafayette, La., was 37-4 with a 0.98 ERA, nine shutouts, two saves and 324 strikeouts in 249 1/3 innings. Including NCAA Tournament games, Ellyson was 39-6 — No. 2 on the Cajuns’ season victories list — and led all four-year schools (NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA, USCAA) in pitching victories this year.

Ellyson’s plus-18 advantage in Pitcher of the Year votes — 19 for her, one apiece for two others — was the largest of the last 10 years.

Dalton, from Cypress, Texas, hit .403 with four home runs, 41 RBI and 14 stolen bases. She slugged .591, had an on-base percentage of .489 and struck out just five times in 183 plate appearances. Twenty-two of her RBI came with two out.

Dalton — the state’s Newcomer of the Year in 2018 — collected 10 votes for Hitter of the Year, Runners-up were Sanchez and Louisiana Tech outfielder Jazlyn Crowder with five votes apiece. Sanchez and Crowder made the first team.

Sanchez, from West Covina, Calif., hit an LSU-leading .394 with eight home runs and 52 RBI. She slugged .686, had an on-base percentage of .566 and helped LSU reach an NCAA Tournament super regional for the fifth consecutive year.

Edwards, from Plano, Texas, hit .378 with 64 hits and 38 RBI, all Louisiana Tech freshman records. Her hits, batting average and 93 total bases all rank in Tech’s season top-10s, regardless of classification.

In the All-Louisiana voting at third base, Sanchez made the first team and Edwards the second team.

Glasco, the 2018 runner-up for Coach of the Year in his debut season with the Cajuns, and Montgomery, the 2017 Coach of the Year, collected seven votes apiece. LSU’s Beth Torina received five votes, and Andy Lee of LSU-Eunice had two.

Glasco led the Cajuns to their first 50-win season (52-6) since 2012 and a 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. They were 25-0 in the Sun Belt Conference and ranked in the top 10 nationally. Their 29-game win streak was a school record.

But equally deserving was Montgomery, who kept his team focused after an F3 tornado April 25 caused catastrophic damage at several Tech sports facilities, including softball. The Lady Techsters maintained focus, going 5-1 in their final two Conference USA series to earn a tie for that league’s regular-season championship. Then the Techsters won three straight games to win the C-USA Tournament and qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.

UL Lafayette has six All-Louisiana first-team players and led the state in that category for the 11th time in 12 years. Joining Ellyson and Dalton are catcher Julie Rawls, first baseman Kourtney Gremillion, outfielder Sarah Hudek — the runner-up for Newcomer of the Year — and designated player Lexie Comeaux.

Sanchez is one of four from LSU on the first team. Joining her are Shemiah Sanchez (no relation) at second base, Aliyah Andrews in the outfield and Shelbi Sunseri at utility.

The remainder of the first team consists of pitchers Krystal De La Cruz of Tech and Megan Landry of Nicholls.

Leading the second team is Tech with four selections. Joining Edwards are teammates Preslee Gallaway at pitcher, Kimmie Atienza at second base and Morgan Turkoly in the outfield. Turkoly is All-Louisiana for the fourth straight year; she was first team in 2018 and second team in 2017 and 2016.

Also on the second team are Jensen Howell of LSU-Eunice and Shelby Wickersham of LSU at pitcher, Kali Clement of Nicholls at catcher, Rebecca Skains of Southeastern Louisiana at first base, Ruby Butler of Bossier Parish at shortstop, Shelby Bergeron of Louisiana College and Justyce McClain of McNeese in the outfield, Keeli Milligan of UL Lafayette at utility, and Grambling’s Rikkelle Miller — the runner-up for Freshman of the Year — at designated player.

Bergeron led the state this season with a .462 batting average.

All-Louisiana of 2019 had two significant new looks. The pitching staff has three on the first team and three on the second team — in recent years it was two pitchers apiece — and for the first time ever, two-year programs LSU-Eunice, Bossier Parish and Baton Rouge were invited to nominate and vote.

Eighteen student-athletes received honorable mention, including Southeastern Louisiana second baseman Jaquelyn Ramon, the New Balance/NFCA Division I Golden Shoe winner after leading NCAA Division I with 63 stolen bases and 1.15 steals per game. This is the 34th year of All-Louisiana softball selections.

2019 ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGIATE SOFTBALL TEAM
(season statistics do not include NCAA or NAIA tournament games)
First Team
Position Name School Yr. Hometown Notes
Pitcher Krystal De La Cruz Louisiana Tech Sr. Eagle Pass, Texas 17-3, 2.18 ERA, 4 saves, All-Conference USA first team
Pitcher Summer Ellyson Louisiana-Lafayette Jr. Lafayette, La. 37-4, 0.98 ERA, NFCA All-America third team, Sun Belt Pitcher of Year
Pitcher Megan Landry Nicholls Sr. Pierre Part, La. 27-12, 1.62 ERA, NFCA All-South Region third team, All-Southland first team
Catcher Julie Rawls Louisiana-Lafayette Jr. Hallsville, Texas .373, 10 HR, 49 RBI, NFCA All-Central Region second team, All-Sun Belt first team
First Base Kourtney Gremillion Louisiana-Lafayette So. Gonzales, La. .347, 5 HR, 31 RBI, All-Sun Belt second team
Second Base Shemiah Sanchez LSU Sr. Newnan, Ga. .291, 17 HR, 45 RBI, NFCA All-South Region first team, All-SEC first team
Third Base Amanda Sanchez LSU Sr. West Covina, Calif. .394, 8 HR, 52 RBI, NFCA All-America second team, All-SEC second team
Shortstop Alissa Dalton Louisiana-Lafayette Jr. Cypress, Texas .376, 3 HR, 30 RBI, NFCA All-Central Region first team, Sun Belt Newcomer of Year
Outfield Aliyah Andrews LSU Jr. Oldsmar, Fla. .383, 8 RBI, 45 SB NFCA All-South Region first team, All-SEC second team
Outfield Jazlyn Crowder Louisiana Tech Sr. Kennedale, Texas .374, 10 HR, 55 RBI, NFCA All-Mideast Region first team, Conference USA Player of Year
Outfield Sarah Hudek Louisiana-Lafayette Jr. Sugar Land, Texas .350, 11 HR, 39 RBI, NFCA All-Central Region second team, Sun Belt Newcomer of Year
Designated Player Lexie Comeaux Louisiana-Lafayette Sr. Tomball, Texas .320, 8 HR, 42 RBI, All-Sun Belt first team
Utility Shelbi Sunseri LSU So. Santa Fe, Texas .364, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 12-8 as pitcher, NFCA All-America second team
Hitter of the Year:  Alissa Dalton, Louisiana-Lafayette
Pitcher of the Year:  Summer Ellyson, Louisiana-Lafayette
Newcomer of the Year:  Amanda Sanchez, LSU
Freshman of the Year:  Lindsay Edwards, Louisiana Tech
Coach of the Year:  (tie) Gerry Glasco, Louisiana-Lafayette; Mark Montgomery, Louisiana Tech
Second Team
Position Name School Yr. Hometown Notes
Pitcher Preslee Galloway Louisiana Tech Sr. Pilot Point, Texas 18-8, 2.95 ERA, 5 saves, All-Conference USA second team
Pitcher Jensen Howell LSU-Eunice So. Alexandria, La. 19-3, 1.15 ERA, 3 saves, NFCA NJCAA Division II All-America first team
Pitcher Shelby Wickersham LSU Fr. Metairie, La. 10-2, 2.17 ERA, 1 save, Freshman All-SEC
Catcher Kali Clement Nicholls Sr. Thibodaux, La. .369, 6 HR, 22 RBI, NFCA All-South Region second team, All-Southland first team
First Base Rebecca Skains Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Calhoun, La. .333, 3 HR, 48 RBI, led Southland Conference in doubles, RBI
Second Base Kimmie Atienza Louisiana Tech Jr. Texarkana, Texas .363, 4 HR, 26 RBI, NFCA All-Mideast Region first team
Third Base Lindsay Edwards Louisiana Tech Fr. Plano, Texas .378, 5 HR, 38 RBI, Conference USA Freshman of Year, All-CUSA first team
Shortstop Ruby Butler Bossier Parish Fr. Snohomish, Wash. .420, 10 HR, 53 RBI, All-Region XIV and all-conference first team
Outfield Shelby Bergeron Louisiana College Sr. Morgan City, La. .462, 15 RBI, 34 SB, NFCA NCAA Division III All-America second team
Outfield Justyce McClain McNeese Sr. Phoenix, Ariz. .405, 11 RBI, 30 SB, NFCA All-South Region first team, All-Southland first team
Outfield Morgan Turkoly Louisiana Tech Sr. Sanger, Texas .375, 5 HR, 32 RBI, NFCA All-Mideast Region second team, All-Conference USA first team
Designated Player Rikkelle Miller Grambling Fr. Atlanta, Ga. .423, 8 HR, 41 RBI, SWAC Rookie of the Year, All-SWAC second team
Utility Keeli Milligan Louisiana-Lafayette Sr. Vidor, Texas .340, 15 RBI, 59 SB, All-Sun Belt first team
Honorable Mention
Pitcher:  Alley McDonald, Southeastern Louisiana; Heather Zumo, LSU-Eunice.
Catcher:  Ella Manzer, Southeastern Louisiana.
First Base:  Amanda Doyle, LSU; Abby Sterling, Louisiana College.
Second Base:  Abi Cole, Bossier Parish; Jaquelyn Ramon, Southeastern Louisiana.
Third Base:  Kara Gremillion, Louisiana-Lafayette; Lauren Rachal, LSU-Alexandria.
Shortstop:  Bayli Simon, Louisiana Tech.
Outfield:  Sydney McKay, Louisiana-Monroe; Raina O’Neal, Louisiana-Lafayette; Rebecca Shepherd, Bossier Parish; Savannah Stewart, LSU; Sara Tate, LSU-Eunice.
Designated Player:  Sloane Stewartson, Louisiana Tech.
Utility:  E.C. Delafield, Northwestern State; RyLeigh Rutherford, LSU-Alexandria.
Vote Breakdown of Major Awards
Hitter of the Year:  Allisa Dalton, Louisiana-Lafayette, 10; Jazlyn Crowder, Louisiana Tech, 5; Amanda Sanchez, LSU, 5; Rebecca Shepherd, Bossier Parish, 1.
Pitcher of the Year:  Summer Ellyson, Louisiana-Lafayette, 19; Krystal De La Cruz, Louisiana Tech, 1; Megan Landry, Nicholls, 1.
Newcomer of the Year:  Amanda Sanchez, LSU, 16; Sarah Hudek, Louisiana-Lafayette, 4.
Freshman of the Year:  Lindsay Edwards, Louisiana Tech, 12; Rikkelle Miller, Grambling, 4; RyLeigh Rutherford, LSU-Alexandria, 3; Rebecca Shepherd, Bossier Parish, 1; Savannah Stewart, LSU, 1.
Coach of the Year:  Gerry Glasco, Louisiana-Lafayette, 7; Mark Montgomery, Louisiana Tech, 7; Beth Torina, LSU, 5; Andy Lee, LSU-Eunice, 2.
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