Cajun Softball picked to win the SBC, eight on All SBC Pre-Season Team

Cajun Nation

No. 8 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball headlined the preseason picks released by the Sun Belt Conference on Wednesday, selected as the unanimous favorite to capture the title and receiving numerous individual awards.

A consensus Top 10 choice in the national polls, Louisiana (52-6, 25-0 Sun Belt in 2019) received all 10 of the possible first place votes, and 100 points overall, in the SBC’s preseason coaches’ poll in landing the first-place distinction. Last season, the Ragin’ Cajuns swept the regular season and conference titles and turned in only the second undefeated conference mark in program and league history.

Reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Summer Ellyson and Sun Belt Player of the Year Alissa Dalton captured the top individual awards, chosen as the preseason candidate for the respective honors.

Other returnees joining Ellyson and Dalton in receiving accolades were catcher Julie Rawls, outfielders Sarah Hudek and Raina O’Neal, along with Bailey Curry at designated player. Impact transfers Megan Kleist and Kaitlyn Alderink were also selected to the preseason team.

The 2020 Preseason All-Sun Belt team and poll was voted upon by each of the league’s 10 head coaches.
Louisiana is set to begin the highly anticipated 2020 season on Friday, Feb. 7 at Lamson Park, opening play in the 34th Annual Louisiana Classics against Ball State at 4 p.m. and UTSA at 6 p.m. It’s the start of a season-opening, eight-game homestand which concludes with a meeting with Louisiana State on Saturday, Feb. 15 (the Tigers first visit since 2001).

Preseason Coaches’ Poll
First-place votes in parentheses

1. Louisiana (10) – 100 points
2. Troy – 85
3. UTA – 77
4. Texas State – 74
5. Coastal Carolina – 56
6. Appalachian State – 47
7. Georgia Southern – 36
8. South Alabama – 31
9. ULM – 26
10. Georgia State – 18

Preseason All-Sun Belt Team
Summer Ellyson, Louisiana (Sr., P, Lafayette, La.)
Megan Kleist, Louisiana (Sr., P, Appleton, Wisc.)
Julie Rawls, Louisiana (Sr., C, Hallsville, Texas)
Reagan Wright, UTA (Sr., C, Mansfield, Texas)
Katie Webb, Troy (Sr., 1B, Salem, Ala.)
Kaitlyn Alderink, Louisiana (Sr., 2B, Keller, Texas)
Hailey Mackay, Texas State (Sr., 3B, Leander, Texas)
Alissa Dalton, Louisiana (Sr., SS, Cypress, Texas)
Jayden Mount, ULM (Sr., SS, Longview, Texas)
Whitney Walton, UTA (Sr., SS, Lake Jackson, Texas)
Tara Oltmann, Texas State (Jr., SS, Giddings, Texas)
Courtney Dean, Coastal Carolina (Jr., OF, Indian Trail, N.C.)
Mekhia Freeman, Georgia Southern (Sr., OF, Newnan, Ga.)
Sarah Hudek, Louisiana (Sr., OF, Sugar Land, Texas)
Raina O’Neal, Louisiana (Jr., OF, Richmond, Texas)
Bailey Curry, Louisiana (Jr., DP/1B, Frankfort, Ky.)

Preseason Player of the Year
Alissa Dalton, Louisiana (Sr., SS, Cypress, Texas)

Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Summer Ellyson, Louisiana (Sr., P, Lafayette, La.)

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