Torina, Pleasants Earn Top LSWA Softball Honors

NEW ORLEANS – LSU Softball captured two major awards on the 2021 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana college softball team announced late Tuesday.

by Kent Lowe | Sr. Assoc. Communications Director
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Torina, Pleasants Earn Top LSWA Softball Honors

NEW ORLEANS – LSU Softball captured two major awards on the 2021 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana college softball team announced late Tuesday.

Tiger shortstop Taylor Pleasants earned Freshman of the Year honors in the state and Beth Torina captured her second state Coach of the Year award.

A Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of sports media and college softball publicists selected the All-Louisiana team, based on statistics and performances through the teams’ conference tournaments. Those statistics were used in this story. There was no All-Louisiana team in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic shortened that season.

Summer Ellyson of UL-Lafayette repeated as Pitcher of the Year – she also won in 2019 – and Ragin’ Cajun Ciara Bryan, a transfer from the University of Georgia was chosen as the Hitter and Newcomer of the Year.

Pleasants, from Houston, hit .314 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI. She slugged .591 and helped LSU reach an NCAA Tournament super regional for the sixth consecutive time. Pleasants is LSU’s sixth Freshman of the Year and its first since 2014.

Torina reached 400 career LSU victories during the season, her 10th with the Tigers. LSU racked up nine regular-season wins against ranked opponents, two apiece against UL-Lafayette, Texas, Tennessee and Missouri. LSU was 32-19 entering NCAA regionals and finished 35-22 after a pair of one-run losses to Florida State — the eventual national runner-up to Oklahoma — in the Baton Rouge Super Regional.

Torina also won the state’s top coach award in 2015.

Ellyson — from Lafayette, La., and a three-time All-Louisiana first-team selection — was 23-6 with a 2.22 ERA, nine shutouts and 173 strikeouts in 167 innings. Including NCAA Tournament games, Ellyson was 25-7 and finished No. 3 on the Ragin’ Cajuns’ career victories list with 99. Ellyson is the fifth person and the third from UL Lafayette to win Pitcher of the Year multiple times.

Bryan, from Covington, Ga., hit .426 with five home runs, 37 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 38 attempts. She slugged .601 and had an on-base percentage of .469. She reached base safely in each of her first 39 games. Bryan is the second to win two All-Louisiana major awards in the same season; Lexie Elkins (hitter, newcomer) of UL Lafayette did it in 2014.

LSU and UL-Lafayette have four All-Louisiana first-team players apiece. LSU’s first-team honorees are Pleasants, pitcher Ali Kilponen, Amanda Doyle at third base and Aliyah Andrews in the outfield.

Joining Ellyson and Bryan for the Cajuns are Justice Milz at first base and Jade Gortarez at second base. The remainder of the first team consists of pitcher Whitney Tate and designated player Kaylee Lopez of McNeese, catcher Olivia Hennen of LSU-Eunice, outfielder Aeriyl Mass of Southeastern Louisiana and utility player Uchenna Jong Loy of Bossier Parish Community College.

Leading the second team is UL Lafayette with five selections: pitcher Kandra Lamb, Kaitlyn Alderink at third base, Alissa Dalton at shortstop, Kendall Talley in the outfield and Julie Rawls at utility.

Also, on the second team are Bossier Parish’s Primrose Aholelei at pitcher, Samantha Eckert at catcher and Haylee Ladner at first base; LSU’s Shelbi Sunseri at pitcher and Ciara Briggs in the outfield; Northwestern State’s Cayla Jones at second base and E.C. Delafield at designated player; and Southeastern Louisiana’s Audrey Greely in the outfield.

Ten student-athletes received honorable mention. This is the 35th season of All-Louisiana softball selections.

2021 ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGIATE SOFTBALL TEAM

(season statistics do not include NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA national tournament games)

First Team

Position/Name/School/Yr./Hometown/Notes

P/Summer Ellyson/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Lafayette, La./23-6, 2.22 ERA, SBC Belt POY

P/Ali Kilponen/LSU/So./Highlands Ranch, Colo./14-7, 1.77 ERA, NFCA All-South second team

P/Whitney Tate/McNeese/Fr./Columbia, La./13-7, 2.07 ERA, All-SLC 2nd, SLC Tournament MVP

C/Olivia Hennen/LSU-Eunice/Fr./Choudrant, La./.426, 11 HR, 49 RBI, NJCAA DII Catcher of Year

1B/Justice Milz/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Kearney, Mo./.313, 8 HR, 34 RBI, All-SBC second team

2B/Jade Gortarez/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Riverside, Calif./.283, 8 HR, 35 RBI

3B/Amanda Doyle/LSU/Sr./Santa Clarita, Calif./.282, 8 HR, 33 RBI, NFCA All-South third team

SS/Taylor Pleasants/LSU/Fr./Houston, Texas/.314, 11 HR, 47 RBI, NFCA A-A 2nd team, SEC Newcomer

OF/Aliyah Andrews/LSU/Sr./Oldsmar, Fla./.365, 2 HR, 19 RBI, NFCA A-A 2nd team, All-Louisiana 3rd time

OF/Ciara Bryan/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Covington, Ga./.426, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 35 SB, SBC Player/Newcomer of Year

OF/Aeriyl Mass/Southeastern/Jr./Lake Charles, La./.368, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 30 SB, All-SLC first team

DP/Kaylee Lopez/McNeese/So./Indian Bayou, La./.388, 0 HR, 19 RBI, All-SLC second team

Util./Uchenna Jong Loy/BPCC/So./Amsterdam, Holland/.521, 27 HR, 84 RBI, NJCAA Region XIV POY

Hitter of the Year:  Ciara Bryan, Louisiana-Lafayette

Pitcher of the Year:  Summer Ellyson, Louisiana-Lafayette

Newcomer of the Year:  Ciara Bryan, Louisiana-Lafayette

Freshman of the Year:  Taylor Pleasants, LSU

Coach of the Year:  Beth Torina, LSU

Second Team

Position/Name/School/Yr./Hometown/Notes

P/Primrose Aholelei/BPCC/Fr./Honolulu, Hawaii/17-3, 2.55 ERA, NJCAA Region XIV East POY

P/Kandra Lamb/UL-Lafayette/So./Kurrajong, Australia/16-4, 2.12 ERA, 7 shutouts, All-SBC first team

P/Shelbi Sunseri/LSU/Jr./Santa Fe, Texas/9-6, 2.10 ERA, NFCA All-South 2nd team, SEC Defensive Team

C/Samantha Eckert/BPCC/Fr./West Monroe, La./.390, 9 HR, 37 RBI, NJCAA All-Region XIV first team

1B/Haylee Ladner/BPCC/Fr./Buna, Texas/.383, 9 HR, 59 RBI, NJCAA All-Region XIV second team

2B/Cayla Jones/ Northwestern State/Jr./Missouri City, Texas/.302, 4 HR, 27 RBI, All-SLC third team

3B/Kaitlyn Alderink/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Keller, Texas/.352, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 17-of-17 SB, All-SBC 2nd team

SS/Alissa Dalton/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Cypress, Texas/.386, 4 HR, 26 RBI, All-SBC 2ndteam, All-La. 3rd time

OF/Ciara Briggs/LSU/Fr./Yorba Linda, Calif./.329, 4 HR, 16 RBI, All-SEC Newcomer Team

OF/Audrey Greely/Southeastern/Fr./Geismar, La./.400, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 18-of-20 SB, All-SLC 2nd team

OF/Kendall Talley/UL-Lafayette/So./San Antonio, Texas/.355, 3 HR, 26 RBI, All-Sun Belt first team

DP/E.C. Delafield/Northwestern State/Jr./Stonewall, La./.331, 2 HR, 22 RBI; 12-5 as pitcher, 2.14 ERA . . . Util./Julie Rawls/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Hallsville, Texas/.293, 9 HR, 52 RBI, All-Sun Belt second team

Honorable Mention

Pitcher:  Jenna Edwards, McNeese; Heather Zumo, Southeastern Louisiana.

Catcher:  Chloe Gomez, McNeese; Lauryn McMahon, LSU-Alexandria.

First Base:  Georgia Clark, LSU; Brooke Romano, Baton Rouge Community College.

Second Base:  Dylan Sanay, Bossier Parish.

Third Base:  Haylee Brinlee, McNeese.

Shortstop:  Tuliliau Sosi, Bossier Parish.

Outfield:  Kennedy Cox, Bossier Parish.

Vote Breakdown of Major Awards

Hitter of the Year:  Ciara Bryan, UL-Lafayette, 8; Aliyah Andrews, LSU, 5; Uchenna Jong Loy, BPCC, 4.

Pitcher of the Year:  Summer Ellyson, UL-Lafayette, 11; Ali Kilponen, LSU, 5; Whitney Tate, McNeese, 1.

Newcomer of the Year:  Ciara Bryan, UL-Lafayette, 14; Jenna Edwards, McNeese, 3.

Freshman of the Year:  Taylor Pleasants, LSU, 16; Whitney Tate, McNeese, 1.

Coach of the Year:  Beth Torina, LSU, 7; Amanda Nordberg, BPCC, 6; Gerry Glasco, UL-Lafayette, 4.