Three Tigers on NFCA All-South Region Teams

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Three Tigers on NFCA All-South Region Teams

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – LSU softball’s A.J. Andrews, Bianka Bell and Rachele Fico garnered NFCA All-South Region accolades Thursday as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Andrews and Fico notched first team honors, while Bell came away a second team selection. It marked the fifth consecutive season that the Tigers had had a pitcher chosen to an all-region squad. The last time LSU had a pair of position players garner NFCA All-Region First-Team status was when Kirsten Shortridge and Anissa Young accomplished the feat during the 2010 season.

“We’re extremely proud of A.J., Bianka and Rachele to be honored with these awards,” head coach Beth Torina said. “All three players are very deserving of every award they receive. They’ve worked very hard in all facets of their games and have been critical to our success this season.”

Andrews, an All-SEC First-Team pick, turned in a team-leading .359 batting average on 66 hits. She was the only player to start all 54 games for LSU, and her team-best 66 hits are tied for seventh on the SEC leaderboard. The Florida native also ranks among the SEC’s Top 15 in runs scored (44) and stolen bases (19). Andrews registered hits in 41 of 54 games fueled by a team-leading 18 multi-hit efforts. She garnered six game-winning/game-tying RBIs in fifth inning or later in SEC play, five were against Top 25 opponents.

Bell, the 2013 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and All-SEC Second-Team performer, registered a .356 batting average to go along with a team-best 12 home runs and 47 RBIs. The 12 homers are tied for third-most in program history for a single season and tied for 12th in the SEC, while the 47 RBIs are the third-highest by a freshman in program history and tied for 10th in the SEC. The Florida native produced 16 multi-hit performances, 12 multi-RBI efforts and has been apart of 31 percent of LSU’s runs scored on the season.  Nine of her 12 dingers and 32 of her 47 RBIs have come since March 17. She set a program record with RBIs in 12 straight games earlier this season.

Fico, a USA Softball Top 25 Player of the Year along with a Senior Class Award Top 10 finalist and All-SEC Second-Team honoree, notched a 24-11 mark to spark the Tigers. She racked up 222 strikeouts, second-most in the SEC, and moved up to third place on LSU’s all-time program list. The senior right-hander twirled 10 shutouts, tied for eighth nationally. Fico was one of two pitchers to rank among SEC’s Top 4 in wins (11), ERA (2.27), Ks (94) & opponent average (.198) in SEC games. The Connecticut native matched a SEC single-game record held by Monica Abbott with 22 Ks at Mississippi State on March 8 and earned NFCA National Player of the Week after two wins over Alabama on April 30.

LSU (40-14) is making its 15th NCAA Regional appearance highlighted by a trio of trips the Women’s College World Series during the 2001, 2004 and 2012 seasons. The Tigers also won the program’s first SEC Western Division title since 2007 and earned a fourth-place finish in the SEC standings.

LSU embarks on the double elimination NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Friday versus Central Connecticut State, the Northeast Conference champion. First pitch is on-tape for 6 p.m. from Tiger Park.

Every game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional will have live video inside the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net/live. The LSU games also will be carried live by the LSU Sports Network and Country Legends 104.9 FM in the Baton Rouge area.

All-session and single-season tickets for this weekend’s NCAA Baton Rouge Regional are on-sale at www.LSUtix.net.

Fans can follow every pitch of LSU softball via live in-game updates at the program’s social media outlets @lsusoftball on Twitter and www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball.

NFCA All-South Region First Team
P – Hannah Campbell, South Alabama
P – Rachele Fico, LSU
C – Chelsea Zgrabik, Florida Gulf Coast
1B – Nicole Morgan, Texas A&M
2B – Kaila Hunt, Alabama
SS – Brittany Fowler, South Alabama
3B – Haley Fagan, South Alabama
OF – A.J. Andrews, LSU
OF – Kayla Braud, Alabama
OF – Haylie McCleney, Alabama
UTL/P – Jackie Traina, Alabama
UTL/DP – Cali Lanphear, Texas A&M

NFCA All-South Region Second Team
P – Kelsie Armstrong, Central Arkansas
P – Farish Beard, South Alabama
P – Alison Owen, Mississippi State
P – Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern
P – Kaylie Wallace, North Florida
C – Sam Lenahan, Mississippi State
1B – Devon Wallace, Arkansas
2B – Melissa Bryant, Central Arkansas
SS – Bianka Bell, LSU
3B – Allison Brown, Ole Miss
OF – Kelsey Carpenter, Florida Gulf Coast
OF – Julie Moss, South Alabama
OF – McKenzie Woody, Mercer
UTL/P – Mel Dumezich, Texas A&M
UTL/DP – Sharon Swanson, Kennesaw State