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Berzon Named LSWA Pitcher of the Year, Six Tigers Receive LSWA All-Louisiana Honors

Sydney Berzon becomes the sixth LSU softball hurler to win LSWA Pitcher of the Year and is placed on the All-Louisiana First Team along with Ciara Briggs, Kelley Lynch and Taylor Pleasants. Ali Newland earned a spot on the All-Louisiana Second Team, and Raeleen Gutierrez was tabbed All-Louisiana Honorable Mention.

Berzon Named LSWA Pitcher of the Year, Six Tigers Receive LSWA All-Louisiana Honors

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU softball had six athletes recognized on the 2024 Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) All-Louisiana College Softball Team, headlined by pitcher Sydney Berzon, who was named LSWA 2024 Pitcher of the Year and secured her second consecutive first-team selection.

Berzon – a two-time NFCA All-American – becomes the sixth LSU softball hurler to win LSWA Pitcher of the Year and is the first since Allie Walljasper in 2018. Berzon’s Pitcher of the Year honor is the eighth in program history, with Walljasper (2017-18) and Carley Hoover (2015-16) being the only players to garner the award twice. Joining Berzon on the first team were outfielder Ciara Briggs, utility pitcher Kelley Lynch, and shortstop Taylor Pleasants. Outfielder Ali Newland is listed on the All-Louisiana Second Team, and infielder Raeleen Gutierrez was tabbed All-Louisiana Honorable Mention. LSU’s four first-team selections are tied with Southeastern Louisiana and UL Lafayette for the most this season.    

Berzon led the pitching staff with a 20-9 record and a 1.78 ERA, tallying 185 strikeouts over 204.0 innings pitched. The Buffalo, N.Y. native tossed 20 complete games, including three shutouts, and logged four saves. She held opposing batters to a .224 average, struck out a career-high 13 batters versus Boise State (February 22, 2024), and set an SEC Tournament record with 14.0 innings pitched, where she fired off 208 pitches in the 2-1 victory over No. 20 Alabama (May 8, 2024).

Briggs is a four-time All-Louisiana selection and has earned a place on the first team in three consecutive seasons. She topped the team with 68 hits, 44 runs, and 14 stolen bases while batting .333. She also accounted for 23 RBIs, drew 21 walks, and registered 11 sacrifice hits, which ranks No. 5 in the program’s single-season record book. Defensively, Briggs had a .980 fielding percentage with 96 putouts and three assists.

In her lone season at LSU, Lynch achieved a 9-3 record on the rubber with a 2.70 ERA, 95 strikeouts, and a .189 opposing batting average (No. 10 in the SEC) over 103.2 innings. She led the pitching staff with six complete-game shutouts, including a no-hitter against Auburn (April 13, 2024), where she fanned a season-high nine strikeouts. At the dish, Lynch batted .221 on 25 hits, 20 RBIs, and seven extra-base hits, including her lone homer of the season – a grand slam at No. 8 Stanford (May 24, 2024) in the 11-1 NCAA Super Regionals victory, which featured a career-high five RBIs. 

For the fourth consecutive year, Pleasants has gained All-Louisiana First Team status. Pleasants is now the fourth LSU Tiger all-time to be a four-time All-Louisiana First Team selection, joining Sahvanna Jaquish (2014-2017), Bianka Bell (2013-2016), and Britni Sneed (1999-2002). Pleasants started a career-high 61 games and finished with 46 hits, including a team-best 10 home runs and 46 RBIs. Pleasants had three walk-off hits in 2024, including two home runs over Boise State (February 22, 2024) and No. 11 Texas A&M (March 28, 2024). Pleasants also led the team with 131 assists, had 98 putouts, and helped turn 16 double plays. 

Newland is a two-time All-Louisiana selection. She started all 61 games in left field, where she had a .304 batting average on 56 hits, drove in 41 runs, and scored 35 runs. Thanks to 20 extra-base hits, including 11 doubles, nine home runs, and two grand slams, Newland recorded a .511 slugging percentage. In the outfield, she was a highlight reel, as she finished with a perfect fielding percentage, 93 putouts, and two assists. 

Gutierrez received her first All-Louisiana award after logging a .326 batting average with 60 hits, 42 RBIs, 27 runs, and drew 24 walks. She led the team with a .538 slugging percentage thanks to 25 extra-base hits, including 17 doubles, two triples, and six home runs. Defensively, Gutierrez led the team with 395 putouts, had 15 assists, and was part of 22 turned double plays, setting a new program single-season record. 

2024 All-Louisiana Collegiate Softball Team

First Team:

Pitcher: Sydney Berzon, So., LSU

Pitcher: Cera Blanchard, Sr., Southeastern Louisiana

Pitcher: Sam Landry, So., UL-Lafayette

Pitcher: Shaelyn Sanders, Sr., McNeese

Catcher: Bailey Krolczyk, Sr., Southeastern Louisiana

First Base: Corine Poncho, So., McNeese

Second Base: Alexa Langeliers, Jr., UL Lafayette

Third Base: Brooke Ellestad, Jr., UL Lafayette

Shortstop: Taylor Pleasants, Gr., LSU

Outfield: Ciara Briggs, Gr., LSU

Outfield: Mihyia Davis, So., UL Lafayette

Outfield: Ka’Lyn Watson, Sr., Southeastern Louisiana

Designated Player: Audrey Greeley, Sr., Southeastern Louisiana

Utility: Kelley Lynch, Gr., LSU

 Major Awards

Hitter of the Year: Mihyia Davis, UL Lafayette

Pitcher of the Year: Sydney Berzon, LSU

Newcomer of the Year: Brooke Ellestad, UL Lafayette

Freshman of the Year: Alexis Dibbley, McNeese

Coach of the Year: Rick Fremin, Southeastern Louisiana

Second Team:

Pitcher: Ellie DuBois, Sr., Southeastern Louisiana

Pitcher: Allie Floyd, So., Louisiana Tech

Pitcher: Macie LaRue, So., Bossier Parish

Pitcher: Chloe Riassetto, So., UL Lafayette

Catcher: Victoria Valdez, So., UL Lafayette

First Base: Sam Roe, Jr., UL Lafayette

Second Base: Olivia Coaker, Sr., Louisiana Christian

Third Base: Maria Detillier, So., Southeastern Louisiana

Shortstop: Haley Fontenot, So., LSU-Alexandria

Outfield: Mackenzie Cox, Sr., Centenary

Outfield: Alexis Gilio, Jr., Louisiana Tech

Outfield: Ali Newland, Sr., LSU

Designated Player: Laney Credeur, Jr., UL Lafayette

Utility: Taylor Williams, Sr., Northwestern State

Honorable Mention
First Base: Raeleen Gutierrez, LSU; Lexi Johnson, Southeastern Louisiana

Second Base: Mariana Torres, McNeese
Shortstop:  Chloe Magee, Southeastern Louisiana
Outfield:  Lourdes Bacon, ULM; Meagan Brown, ULM; Alexis Dibbley, McNeese
Utility: McKenna Howell, LSU-Eunice