LSUE’s Leal, Bennett named to NJCAA Division II All-American squad

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EUNICE, La. – The LSU Eunice softball pair of Maddie Leal and Chloe Bennett earned their second All-American recognition this week as the two were named to the NJCAA Division II All-American squad, the organization announced on Tuesday.

Leal is a second team outfielder selection while Bennett is on the third team. Both were also named to the NFCA’s first-team All-American squad earlier this month.

Leal and Bennett’s NJCAA nominations give LSU Eunice 39 All-American designations from 26 different players since 2009. They are just two of now 12 LSUE players to earn All-American honors in the same season from both the NFCA and NJCAA.

The Houston, Texas native, Leal was an offensive and defensive ace for the Bengals, starting 55 games in centerfield. Leal led LSUE in hits (77), doubles (19), batting average (.414), runs (53) and total bases (101). She would field .973 on the season with 106 putouts and two assists.

Leal was a steady force in the Bengals’ lineup her two years on the Cajun Prairie. The Southeastern Louisiana signee leaves the Cajun Prairie ranked 8th all-time in career batting average (.418), 4th in hits (154) and 6th in doubles (36).

Bennett enjoyed a breakout campaign as the Bengals ace in the circle as a freshman. The Rosepine HS product went 23-10 with a 2.84 earned run average. Bennett set a new single-season strikeout record at LSUE with 240 punchouts.

Her first game with LSUE would be a home no-hitter and her second start saw Bennett throw a perfect game. It was one of two perfect games on the season for Bennett, also twirling a gem against Tyler JC in late April.

The pair were also named to both the NFCA and NJCAA All-Region teams. Bennett was recognized on the NJCAA Softball National Tournament All-Tournament team.

The Bengals ended the 2022 season with a 36-22 record, placing fifth at the NJCAA National Tournament.

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