Tigers Place Eight on All-SEC Teams, Tournament Play Begins

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Tigers Place Eight on All-SEC Teams, Tournament Play Begins

BATON ROUGE — The second-ranked LSU softball team placed eight players on the All-Southeastern Conference teams as the Tigers prepare to open SEC Tournament play on Thursday at 5 p.m. against South Carolina at the Alabama Softball Complex.

Senior pitcher Kristin Schmidt, senior outfielder LaDonia Hughes and freshman outfielder Leslie Klein were named to the All-SEC first team for LSU. The Tigers placed junior catcher Leigh Ann Danos, sophomore shortstop Lauren Delahoussaye, senior third baseman Julie Wiese and sophomore designated player Lauren Castle on the second team. In the inaugural year of the SEC All-Freshman team, LSU placed two members on the team, Klein and pitcher Emily Turner.

For Schmidt the All-SEC honor is the third of her career, after being named to the second team the previous two seasons. The Houston native sports a 28-5 record in the circle with 255 strikeouts and a 1.41 earned run average.

Hughes is batting .380 on the year and leads the team in hits with 73 and stolen bases with 27. Klein hits at a .348 clip on the year and tied the LSU single season home run record with 12. The honor is the first for both players, as Klein becomes just the fourth player in Tiger history to earn first team All-SEC honors as a freshman.

Danos, Delahoussaye, Wiese and Castle also receiving All-SEC honors for the first time in their careers. Danos is hitting .326 on the season with three home runs, while Delahoussaye is batting .325 with nine homers. A four-year letterwinner, Wiese is hitting at a .290 clip with seven home runs. In her first season as a Tiger, Castle leads the team with a .390 average and has knocked four home runs.

Turner boasts a 17-4 record in the circle this season with 101 strikeouts and a 1.67 earned run average. In addition, the freshman boasts wins over three nationally ranked teams, including a pair of top 10 teams.

The SEC regular season champion Tigers (46-9) open play in the league tournament against South Carolina in the third game on Thursday. LSU took 2-of-3 from the Gamecocks during the regular season at Tiger Park.

“We have a series of goals this year and we have accomplished two of those, winning the SEC Western Division and the SEC regular season title,” said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. “Winning the SEC Tournament is the next step on our list of goals that we want to achieve.

“There are no more easy games. We are now taking on the best in the league and we know that we will have to play our best to win.”

All of the tournament games will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Network in Baton Rouge on 107.3 FM and on the internet at www.LSUsports.net.

In seven previous SEC Tournament appearances, the Tigers own a league-best 23-7 (.767) record. LSU won titles in 1999, 2001 and 2002 and the Tigers have advanced to the championship game each of the last five seasons. Last year, LSU dropped a 3-1 decision to Alabama in the championship game.

If LSU defeats South Carolina in the first round, the Tigers will advance to take on the winner of the Auburn/Alabama game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. With an LSU loss in game one, the Tigers will face the loser of the AU/UA game at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Tournament play will continue on Saturday before concluding with the championship game on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net in Baton Rouge on cable channel 38.

FIRST-TEAM ALL-SEC
Kristin Schmidt, LSU
Monica Abbott, Tennessee
Sara Dean, Auburn
Jackie McClain, Alabama
Kim Wendland, Georgia
Kate Jaspers, Mississippi State
Kristi Durant, Tennessee
Nicole Barber, Georgia
LaDonia Hughes LSU
Leslie Klein, LSU
Iyhia McMichael, Mississippi State
Stephanie Van Brakle, Alabama

SECOND-TEAM ALL-SEC
Kristin Keyes, Auburn
Jenny Gladding, Florida
Leigh Ann Danos, LSU
Staci Ramsey, Alabama
Mylin Prieto, Florida
Melissa Zick, Florida
Lauren Delahoussaue, LSU
Julie Wiese, LSU
Angela Brewer, Tennessee
Capper Reed, Alabama
Shannon Anderson, Auburn
Nancy Crane, South Carolina
Lauren Castle, LSU
DeDe Justice, Ole Miss

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Emily Turner, LSU
Monica Abbott, Tennessee
Michelle Diaz, Florida
Kristina McCain, Auburn
Lauren Roussell, Florida
Melissa Zick, Florida
Megan McAllister, Georgia
Sara Ghezzi, Auburn
Amber Janneck, Kentucky
Leslie Klein, LSU
Hayle Guess, Mississippi State
Kasi Carroll, Georgia

Player of the Year: Iyhia McMichael, Mississippi State
Pitcher of the Year: Monica Abbott, Tennessee
Freshman of the Year: Monica Abbott, Tennessee
Co-Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Ashley Smith, South Carolina and Kate Jaspers, Mississippi State
Coaches of the Year: Ralph and Karen Weekly, Tennessee