Black Her-Story: LSU Softball Stories – Aliyah Andrews, Her Airness
BATON ROUGE, La. – Aliyah Andrews continued the Andrews’ legacy when she came to campus in the fall of 2016. The high-flying outfielder who earned the nickname “Air Aliyah” was tabbed as a NFCA All-American in 2021 to conclude her collegiate career and etched her name throughout the program’s record book in the process.
After helping LSU reach its third consecutive Women’s College World Series as a freshman in 2017, Aliyah shined the next two seasons. In 2018, Aliyah batted .329 with 71 hits, 35 runs and stole 42 bases and in 2019 she logged a .358 batting average with 73 hits, 61 runs, and 47 stolen bases. Her 47 steals rank No. 1 in the LSU single season record book. As a junior, Aliyah also had 94 putouts and had three assists for a .980 field percentage.
Aliyah was on pace for a stellar senior season before the pandemic abruptly ended the 2020 season. In 23 games, she had a .408 batting average behind 29 hits, 24 runs, 18 stolen bases and had a 1.000 fielding percentage with 27 putouts. With another shot to conclude her collegiate career, Aliyah hit .365 in 2021 and recorded 70 hits, 46 runs 19 RBIs, 27 stolen bases, and had a .989 fielding percentage with 86 putouts and one assist in her All-American season.
Aliyah won numerous SEC awards including an All-SEC First-Team selection in 2021 and is a three-time SEC All-Defensive Team honoree. She also made an appearance on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays segment as she furthered the notoriety of LSU softball outfielders with her diving catches. In 268 games played as a Tiger, Aliyah currently ranks No. 2 all-time with 145 stolen bases, No. 3 with 196 runs scored, No. 4 with 286 hits and No. 9 all-time with a .353 batting average.
“I could not have chosen a better university to go to,” Aliyah said. “The culture, the people, the coaches, the feeling of family in Baton Rouge and at LSU in general made it the best decision I could’ve made. Growing up I was often the only black girl on a softball team so coming to LSU was a change having multiple black women on a softball team that I could look up to. As soon as I got to LSU you had Constance Quinn who I looked up to, Bianka Bell was the student assistant coach, and then my sister [A.J.] was still in Baton Rouge so I had some people that I could always go to. I think LSU softball does a really good job at keeping representation and keeping a good diverse group out there.”
Aliyah was one of 12 players selected in the Athletes Unlimited Softball College Draft in 2021 and was placed on the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Softball All-Defensive Team. When she was not training for her professional career, Aliyah served as a graduate assistant for LSU Tiger Life which helps LSU athletes in career development before they leave school. She also served as an assistant coach at Southern University in 2022. Southern is a Historically Black College (HBCU) in Baton Rouge that Aliyah is very proud to have started her coaching career at.
“I had an amazing time coaching at Southern,” Aliyah said. “The girls taught me so much. They made me a better person and made me view softball differently in many different aspects. I am very grateful for those girls and my HBCU experience. Even though it was short, it was needed for me personally.”
Aliyah has focused her attention to training for the upcoming season this summer for Athletes Unlimited in Baton Rouge and is completing her master’s degree in Mass Communication at LSU. Aliyah plans to pursue her passion of a career in sports media and broadcasting.