Eight Tigers Appear on All-SEC Softball Teams

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Eight Tigers Appear on All-SEC Softball Teams

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A day away from opening the league’s signature event, and after a season that saw them rewrite the record books, eight members of the LSU softball team were honored by the Southeastern Conference with the announcement of their postseason awards, highlighted by four First Team All-SEC picks.

Landing on the first team for LSU begins in the circle with freshman Carley Hoover, followed by junior catcher Kellsi Kloss, junior infielder Bianka Bell and sophomore designated player/utility selection Sahvanna Jaquish. Jaquish is a first team All-SEC selection for the second-straight year, becoming the first player since Kirsten Shortridge in 2010-11 to repeat on the first team, while Bell, Hoover and Kloss make the first team cut for the first time.

The All-SEC second team features two outfield Tigers, led by senior A.J. Andrews in one spot and sophomore Bailey Landry earning the other. Along with being a first team selection, Hoover was one of two LSU players to be selected to the 15-player Freshman All-SEC team, along with teammate and outfielder Emily Griggs.

Rounding out the group on the nine-member SEC All-Defensive Team, holding down the spot at first base is junior infielder Sandra Simmons.

“We are so excited to have our players recognized by the Southeastern Conference, as they have worked so hard this season to get to this point and have truly earned these honors,” head coach Beth Torina said. “These young women compete against the best day in and day out in the SEC, so it means so much to achieve these awards in this great conference.”

It’s the first time since 2000 that an LSU team has had four players earn first-team honors, two players shy of the all-time record of six set back during the 1999 season. The six between the first and second team slots is tied for the fourth most all-time, while it is also the most since 2004, with seven being the program best which has been set three times.

For the third-straight year, multiple Tigers have been selected to the freshman list, as since 2012 LSU has had eight players selected to the first-year list, while Simmons becomes just the sixth LSU player to be named to the defensive team, and first since Ashley Langoni in 2012 and the first at first base.

One of the most feared hitters in the Southeastern Conference and top producers in the nation, Bell can add first team honors to her litany of awards as she finished the regular season fourth in the SEC in batting average (.427), third in runs scored (26), tied for second in doubles (8), fifth in total bases (57), seventh in slugging percentage (.760), fourth in hits (32) and fifth in on-base percentage (.527) and RBI’s (22).

Swinging one of the hottest bats toward the end of the season, Kloss finished league play with a .324 hitting clip for the Tigers, slugging .662 which was 14th best in conference games. Her 21 RBIs were tied for 10th among her peers, while belting seven of her new career-best 12 home runs this season during league play which was tied for sixth. The Cypress, California, native tied for the league high with three sacrifice flies, while earning a .993 fielding percentage behind the dish.

In her first year at LSU after transferring from Stanford, Hoover wasted little time showing the form that made her one of the most coveted recruits in the country coming out of South Carolina, as the 6-2 freshman finished league play with the second lowest earned run average at 2.12, finishing with a 7-4 record in conference play. She finished tied for fourth in strikeouts (76), with the seventh-lowest opponent batting average at .232, fourth in batters struck out looking (25), with the seventh fewest runs (24) and earned runs allowed (20).

Jaquish follows up a stellar campaign with another at the designated player spot, as the Highland, California, native drove in 19 RBIs on 18 hits with five home runs and two doubles, slugging .500 with a .372 on-base percentage. Jaquish hit two sacrifice flies, adding to her new LSU season-best eight she has through this year, as she was one of the more feared batters at the plate in tying for the team lead in walks with 14.

Andrews caps her stellar LSU career with her third All-SEC selection in four years, while landing on the second team for the second consecutive year. She finished the league slate with 22 hits at the plate, including three doubles and a home run, with six RBIs and 16 runs scored which was second on the team. The Countryside High School product out of Florida led LSU in stolen bases with six on seven attempts, with a .376 on-base percentage.

Hailing from nearby Prairieville, Landry follows up an all-freshman campaign in 2014 with an All-SEC selection as a sophomore, finishing 11th in the SEC with a .372 batting average, tied for eighth in doubles with five, tied with Bell for fourth in the league in hits with 32 and second in triples with four. Of her 21 multi-hit games, nine came against SEC opponents, slugging .523 with a .407 on-base percentage.

A high school All-American, Griggs opened her LSU tenure with a .345 batting average in her first season as a Tiger which was good enough for third on the team. The Wichita, Kansas, native earned 19 hits, including a double and two triples, with seven RBIs and 13 runs scored. She was second to Andrews in stolen bases with three, while leading the squad in sacrifice bunts with three with a .455 on-base percentage which was second.

Known for a sure hand at first, Simmons earns her first postseason league award after earning a .974 fielding percentage at the position, while also hitting .284 with 19 hits, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored. The Marina High School alum had a double and two home runs among her 19 hits, striking out just four times in 67 total plate appearances, with a sac fly and two sac hits and three stolen bases.

LSU opens play at the 2015 SEC Softball Tournament on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., taking on the winner of Kentucky-Tennessee which takes place on Wednesday.

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.

The complete 2015 SEC Softball Postseason Awards follow.

First Team All-SEC
P – Lauren Haeger, Florida
P – Alexis Osorio, Alabama
P – Carley Hoover, LSU
IF – Kelsey Stewart, Florida
IF – Emily Carosone, Auburn
IF – Bianka Bell, LSU
IF – Alex Hugo, Georgia
IF – Kasey Cooper, Auburn
OF – Haylie McCleney, Alabama
OF – Alaynie Page, South Carolina
OF – Emily Crane, Missouri
OF – Kirsti Merritt, Florida
C – Kellsi Kloss, LSU
DP/U – Sahvanna Jaquish, LSU

Second Team All-SEC
P – Chelsea Wilkinson, Georgia
P – Tori Finucane, Missouri
IF – Marisa Runyon, Alabama
IF – Sami Fagan, Missouri
IF – Demi Turner, Alabama
IF – Tori Vidales, Texas A&M
IF – Jade Rhodes, Auburn
OF – Tiffany Howard, Auburn
OF – Bailey Landry, LSU
OF – A.J. Andrews, LSU
OF – Sydni Emanuel, Georgia
C – Annie Aldrete, Tennessee
DP/U – Tina Iosefa, Georgia

Freshman All-SEC
P – Alexis Osorio, Alabama
P – Carley Hoover, LSU
P – Aleshia Ocasio, Florida
P – Paige Lowary, Missouri
IF – Tori Vidales, Texas A&M
IF – Demi Turner, Alabama
IF – Amanda Sanchez, Missouri
IF – Meghan Gregg, Tennessee
IF – Scarlet McSwain, Tennessee
OF – Nicole DeWitt, Florida
OF – Cortni Emanuel, Georgia
OF – Emily Griggs, LSU
OF – Elantra Cox, Ole Miss
C – Ashley Walters, Texas A&M
DP/U – Tiara Duffy, South Carolina

SEC All-Defensive
P – Rainey Gaffin, Tennessee
C – Griffin Joiner, Kentucky
1B – Sandra Simmons, LSU
2B – Emily Carosone, Auburn
2B – Kelsey Stewart, Florida
SS – Kathlyn Medina, Florida
3B – Kasey Cooper, Auburn
LF – Tiffany Howard, Auburn
CF – Haylie McCleney, Alabama
RF – Emily Crane, Missouri

Player of the Year – Kelsey Stewart, Florida
Pitcher of the Year – Lauren Haeger, Florida
Freshman of the Year – Alexis Osorio, Alabama
Co-Scholar Athletes of the Year – Haylie McCleney, Alabama, Devon Wallace, Arkansas
Coach of the Year – Clint Myers, Auburn