LAFAYETTE – The No. 24-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team placed a league-high seven individuals on the 2023 All-Sun Belt Softball Team highlighted by Karly Heath who was named the Sun Belt Player of the Year, the conference office announced on Tuesday (May 9, 2023).
Joining Heath in claiming one of the major awards for Louisiana was Mihyia Davis who was selected as the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year.
For the fourth consecutive time that All-SBC awards were handed out – and 18th time overall since the league’s creation in 2000 – Louisiana claimed the Player of the Year award. A Cajun claimed Freshman of the Year for the first time since 2017.
Heath (outfield) and Davis (outfield) were joined on the All-Sun Belt First Team by freshman first baseman Lauren Allred.
Pitchers Meghan Schorman and Sam Landry along with catcher Sophie Piskos and shortstop Alexa Langeliers each received a spot on the All-Sun Belt Second Team.
The individual awards and all-conference selections were voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Louisiana placed at least seven players on the All-Sun Belt Team for the fourth straight time under Gerry Glasco‘s guidance, increasing the total number of selections under his watch to 37. The program’s all-time All-Sun Belt selections total grew to 161 (2000-present).
The selections marked repeat All-Sun Belt honors for Heath, Landry, Langeliers and Piskos who received honors in 2022. The remainder of the group received their first accolade as a Ragin’ Cajun.
Heath was the main catalyst for Louisiana’s offense throughout the regular season leading the team in runs (49), extra base hits (24), home runs (14), RBI (43) and total bases (107). She posted a .443 average with 14 extra base hits, 20 RBI, 17 stolen bases in conference play and ranked Top 10 in average, slugging, on base percentage, OPS, runs scored, hits, RBI and home runs. The North Augusta, South Carolina product established new career-high totals in home runs and RBI and produced the first 50-hit campaign of her collegiate career.
Davis, a Top 25 finalist for NFCA National Freshman of the Year, ranks Top 3 nationally, and is the Sun Belt leader, in stolen bases and stolen bases per game. She’s the third Cajun in program history to reach 40 stolen bases in a season – swiped 45 stolen bases in 46 games at 87 percent success rate. The first Cajuns freshman since 2014 to reach 60 base hits, Davis leads the team with 20 multiple-hit games and 61 total hits.
Allred’s collegiate rookie campaign skyrocketed over 30-day stretch from March 3-April 2 when she produced 23 RBI in just 46 at bats. She closed the regular season tied for the team lead with 43 RBI, reaching the 40-RBI mark in less than 100 at bats (92 actual).
Schorman (14-6, 1.82 ERA) and Landry (15-4, 2.20 ERA) steered Louisiana’s efforts in the circle combining for 29 wins overall and a 15-1 mark in Sun Belt play. A pitching staff-high 139 strikeouts and non-conference wins over Indiana, UCF, LSU and Florida highlighted Schorman’s resume. The highlight for Landry was a perfect 7-0 mark with a 1.99 ERA in Sun Belt Conference play which included leading the charge during the challenging four-week stretch of series against JMU, South Alabama, Troy and Texas State, posting a 5-0 mark with a 1.22 ERA, holding the opposition to nine runs (six earned) and 21 hits over 34-1/3 innings.
Piskos stepped up for the Cajuns in Sun Belt play hitting .383, collecting 10 of her 15 season extra base hits and generating 22 RBI. Langeliers turned in a second straight 40-hit and 30-RBI season and was Louisiana’s top fielding middle infielder with .961 fielding percentage over 153 total chances (75 PO, 72 A, 6 E), fielding all but three of her 38 chances at shortstop in SBC play cleanly.
No. 24 Louisiana (43-13, 22-2 SBC) is hosting the 2023 Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park this week and is scheduled to begin play in the event on Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. There are 10 Sun Belt Conference teams participating in the single-elimination tournament from Wednesday-Saturday, May 10-13, vying for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The event begins on Wednesday, May 10 with a pair of first round games, ramps up with the quarterfinal round on Thursday, May 11 and concludes with the championship game on Saturday, May 13 at 1:00 p.m.
The Ragin’ Cajuns quarterfinal round opponent on Thursday (May 11) will be the winner of the ULM-Georgia State first round contest.
All-Sun Belt First Team
Olivia Lackie, South Alabama (JR, P – Walker, La.)
Sydney Nester, Marshall (R-SR, P – Hillsville, Va.)
Hannah Shifflett, James Madison (GR, 1B – North Garden, Va.)
KK Mathis, James Madison (FR, 2B – West Chester, Ohio)
Sydney Bickel, Marshall (JR, SS – Peoria, Ariz.)
Meredith Keel, South Alabama (GS, 3B – Ashville, Ohio)
Autumn Owen, Marshall (JR, C – Mill Spring, N.C.)
Iyanla De Jesus, Coastal Carolina (SR, DP – Mill Creek, Wash.)
Karly Heath, Louisiana (SR, OF – North Augusta, S.C.)
Mihyia Davis, Louisiana (FR, OF – Lovelady, Texas)
Victoria Ortiz, South Alabama (R-SR, OF – Mobile, Ala.)
Jessica Mullins, Texas State (JR, P – Tarkington, Texas)
Lauren Allred, Louisiana (FR, 1B – Texarkana, Texas)
Alex Coleman, Marshall (SO, OF – Asheboro, N.C.)
Grace Chelemen, Marshall (5th, OF – Woodhaven, Mich.)
All-Sun Belt Second Team
Meghan Schorman, Louisiana (SR, P – Hazelwood, Mo.)
Jenna Hardy, South Alabama (SR, P – Whitehouse, Ohio)
Libby Baker, Troy (JR, 1B – Skipperville, Ala.)
Taylor McKinney, Troy (SO, 2B – Montgomery, Ala.)
Alexa Langeliers, Louisiana (SO, SS – Keller, Texas)
Sara Vanderford, Texas State (SR, 3B – Pasadena, Texas)
Sophie Piskos, Louisiana (JR, C – Paris, Tenn.)
Kelly Horne, Troy (SR, DP – Tallahassee, Fla.)
Emily Brown, Georgia State (SR, OF – Suwanee, Ga.)
Mackenzie Brasher, South Alabama (SR, OF – Orange Beach, Ala.)
Kayt Houston, App State (JR, OF – Rock Hill, S.C.)
Hannah Borden, Southern Miss (SR, C – Trussville, Ala.)
Sam Landry, Louisiana (SO, P – Mont Belvieu, Texas)
Emma Davis, Georgia Southern (FR, OF – Grayson, Ga.)
Leanna Johnson, Troy (SR, P – Brantley, Ala.)
Diamond Williams, Coastal Carolina (SR, OF – Evans, Ga.)
Player of the Year: Karly Heath, Louisiana (SR, OF – North Augusta, S.C.)
Pitcher of the Year: Olivia Lackie, South Alabama (JR, P – Walker, La.)
Newcomer of the Year – Sydney Bickel, Marshall (JR, SS – Peoria, Ariz.)
Freshman of the Year: Mihyia Davis, Louisiana (FR, OF – Lovelady, Texas)
Coach of the Year: Becky Clark, South Alabama