The LSU Eunice Softball pair of Katie Salling and Chloe Bennett were recognized recently by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) as the duo earned postseason honors by the organization. Salling and Bennett were both named to the NFCA’s NJCAA Division II All-American second-team as well as the South Region squad.
The NFCA awarded 36 student-athletes from 17 different NJCAA programs with an All-American designation across two teams. LSU Eunice was one of ten teams to have multiple recipients.
The All-American selections mark the third consecutive season LSUE as seen a student-athlete receive the prestigious honor under the direction of head coach Meghan Collins. This is Bennett’s second season to earn an All-American recognition while Salling’s first gives the Bengals 27 players in its history to receive the award.
“Chloe and Katie are two great examples of the type of young women we want to be a part of our Bengals’ softball program,” LSU Eunice Softball head coach Meghan Collins said. “They are two of our hardest workers on the field and in the classroom, so these types of honors come as no surprise.”
Bennett earns here second All-American nod of her LSUE career after garnering first-team honors a year ago. The Rosepine HS product continued to rewrite the LSUE pitching record books in 2023, going 25-7 on the year with a 2.43 earned run average. She tied her single-season strikeout record from a season ago with 240 punchouts. The Bengals ace tossed 16 complete games including a perfect game on February 6 against Kilgore College.
She broke her own single-game record for strikeouts with 17 against Mississippi Gulf Coast on February 3. The SLU signee leaves the Cajun Prairie as the all-time leader in strikeouts while finishing second all-time in wins with 48. Bennett joined six other student-athletes to earn their second NFCA All-American nomination of their career.
Salling was a breakout star for LSUE at the plate, leading the team in batting average (.404), total bases (112), triples (4) and home runs (8). The Parkview Baptist HS product totaled 15 multi-RBI games and 18 multi-hit outings. She helped kick-off LSUE’s late season tear as a 4-for-4 game spurred the Bengals to a wild 16-10 win over San Jacinto on April 13. With that win, LSUE would head into the postseason winners of 11 of their last 13 contests.
The freshman was a utility selection as Salling saw extensive time as LSUE’s back-up catcher and primary designated hitter.
LSU Eunice finished the 2023 campaign with a 41-20 record, falling just short of another trip to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
2023 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American Team NJCAA Division II
|P||Alexa Hopkins||Murray State College|
|P||Karley Yergler||Parkland College|
|P||Holly Craft||Jones College|
|C||Shallen Mershon||Murray State College|
|1B||Sydney Roe||Kirkwood Community College|
|2B||Kathryn Smith||Jones College|
|3B||Edi Austin||Louisburg College|
|SS||Brianna Tucker||Louisburg College|
|OF||Nia Luckett||Jones College|
|OF||Chesnie Hewitt||Murray State College|
|OF||Makaiya Gomez||South Mountain Community College|
|UT/P||Laken Lienhard||North Iowa Area Community College|
|UT/Non-P||Taylor McQueen||Louisburg College|
|At-Large-UT/P||Kennedy Byrd||Louisburg College|
|At-Large-3B||Danitza Hernandez||Phoenix College|
|At-Large-SS||Brianna Garcia||South Mountain Community College|
|At-Large-P||Brinson Anne Rogers||Pearl River Community College|
|At-Large-P||Sydney Kennedy||Des Moines Area Community College|
|P||Zoey Jones||Louisburg College|
|P||Abby Peace||Potomac State College|
|P||Chloe Bennett||Louisiana State University-Eunice|
|C||Katie Hayes||Rock Valley College|
|1B||Alexis Bailey||Potomac State College|
|2B||Brynna Seitz||Spoon River College|
|3B||Maddy Kearns||Des Moines Area Community College|
|SS||Alexa Shoemaker||Potomac State College|
|OF||Alyssa Thorson||Iowa Lakes Community College|
|OF||Averie Ottaly||Louisburg College|
|OF||Kendal Clark||Des Moines Area Community College|
|UT/P||Anisa Reynolds||South Mountain Community College|
|UT/Non-P||Katie Salling||Louisiana State University-Eunice|
|At-Large-3B||Kenzie Tuck||Murray State College|
|At-Large-1B||Jenna Huey||Phoenix College|
|At-Large-SS||Maci Cole||Cowley County Community College|
|At-Large-OF||Molly Bender||Lake Sumter State College|
|At-Large-1B||Darrah Nickens||Louisburg College|
Press Release by LSUE Bengals Athletics