Southland announces 2021 Preseason All-Conference Softball Teams

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Elise Vincent
Elise Vincent (Photo: Gary Hardamon/NSU Athletics)

Ten teams represented among all-conference squads

FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference announced the 2021 preseason all-conference softball squads Thursday morning. Among the rosters, 10 schools were represented with 12 student-athletes earning automatic selections ahead of the season. Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin lead the way on the preseason rosters with five selections apiece. The Southland Preseason All-Conference teams are presented by Hercules Tires.

The Lady Demons enter the 2021 season with a trio of first-team honorees in Cayla Jones, Elise Vincent and E.C. Delafield. Alexis Perry and Hayley Barbazon round out the five Northwestern State honorees ahead of a much-anticipated season for the Lady Demons. NSU closed out its 2019 campaign with a 15-12 record in Southland play, cementing the No. 6 seed in the Southland Tournament. The Lady Demons are slated for a 21-game non-conference schedule before opening conference play Friday, March 12, with a doubleheader on the road against Nicholls.

Stephen F. Austin joins NSU at the top of the all-conference rosters with five selections of its own, headlined by automatic selections Kassidy Wilbur, Shaylon Govan and Bryana Novegil. Alex Hedspeth and Bailey Richards round out the Ladyjacks’ preseason honorees as SFA prepares for a non-conference schedule filled with four tournaments. Head coach Nicole Dickson and her squad will begin conference play at home against Nicholls Friday, March 19, at 3 p.m.

Central Arkansas and McNeese tabbed four selections each on the preseason roster, followed by Southeastern Louisiana’s three honorees. Abilene Christian and Sam Houston came in next with a pair of preseason student-athletes, while Houston Baptist, Nicholls and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi round out the rosters with one honoree apiece.

The 2021 Southland season gets underway Thursday, Feb. 11, with three schools in action. McNeese heads to Baton Rouge, La., for a matchup against LSU. Southeastern Louisiana hosts South Dakota, while Abilene Christian is at home against UTEP. Eight more schools open their seasons over the following two days.

The preseason all-conference teams are voted upon by the league’s head coaches. Returning preseason all-conference players from the 2020 season are automatically named to the 2021 Preseason All-Conference teams at their respective positions. Second team players are elevated to first teams if the slot is vacated by a non-returning player at the same position.

First Team

Name School Pos. Class Hometown
Kaylyn Shepherd* Central Arkansas 1B R-Sr. Mechanicsville, Va.
Cayla Jones* Northwestern State 2B Jr. Missouri City, Texas
Cylla Hill* Central Arkansas 3B R-Sr. Henryetta, Okla.
Cori McCrary* McNeese SS Sr. McCarley, Miss.
Ella Manzer* Southeastern Louisiana C Sr. Alexandria, La.
Samantha Bradley Abilene Christian DP R-Sr. Azle, Texas
Linsey Tomlinson* Abilene Christian OF R-Sr. Huffman, Texas
Kaylee Lopez* McNeese OF So. Indian Bayou, La.
Elise Vincent* Northwestern State OF Sr. Maurice, La.
Madisen Blackford* Southeastern Louisiana OF Sr. Des Moines, Iowa
Megan McDonald* Sam Houston OF Sr. Georgetown, Texas
Kayla Beaver Central Arkansas P R-Fr. Jackson, Tenn.
Kassidy Wilbur* Stephen F. Austin P Jr. Bridge City, Texas
E.C. Delafield* Northwestern State UT Jr. Stonewall, La.

Second Team

Name School Pos. Class Hometown
Shaylon Govan Stephen F. Austin 1B So. Katy, Texas
Brooke Malia* Sam Houston 2B Sr. Houston, Texas
Bryana Novegil* Stephen F. Austin 2B Sr. Houston, Texas
Caitlin Garcia* Nicholls 3B Jr. Spring, Texas
Alex Hedspeth Stephen F. Austin SS Jr. Lockhart, Texas
Alexis Perry Northwestern State C So. Wylie, Texas
Bailey Richards Stephen F. Austin C Gr. Des Moines, Iowa
Caitlyn Brockway Houston Baptist DP So. Tomball, Texas
Reagan Sperling Central Arkansas OF R-Jr. Sherwood, Ark.
Alayis Seneca McNeese OF So. The Woodlands, Texas
Hayley Barbazon Northwestern State OF Sr. Belle Chasse, La.
Saleen Flores McNeese P So. Beeville, Texas
MC Comeaux Southeastern Louisiana P Fr. Port Allen, La.
Sammi Thomas* Texas A&M-Corpus Christi UT So. Buford, Ga.
*2020 Preseason All-Conference Selection
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