It’s award seasons in college softball and the 24th-ranked Louisiana Ragin Cajuns raked in the hardware.
Louisiana put a league-high seven players on the All-Sun Belt softball team, with Karly Heath receiving the top honor as she was named Player of the Year.
Mihyia Davis joined Heath in claiming a significant award as she was named the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year.
For the fourth consecutive time that the All-SBC awards were given out and the 18th time since the league’s inception in 2000, Louisiana had the Player of the Year award. The Cajuns claimed Freshman of the Year for the first time since 2017.
Heath and Davis joined freshman first baseman Lauren Allred on the All-Sun Belt First team, while pitchers Meghan Schorman, Sam Landry, catcher Sophie Piskos, and shortstop Alexa Langliers were named to the Second Team.
Individual awards and all-conference selections in the Sun Belt on voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Louisiana has placed seven or more players on the All-Sun Belt team for the fourth consecutive time under head coach Gerry Glasco, increasing the total number of selections to 37 since his arrival in 2017. Since 2000, Louisiana has placed 161 players on the all-conference team.
This is the second time being named to the All-Sun Belt team for Heath, Landry, Langliers, and Piskos while Allred, Davis, and Schorman receive their first conference accolade.
Heath led the Louisiana offense all season, leading the team in extra-base hits (24), home runs (14), runs scored (49), RBI (43), and total bases (107). She hit .443 in conference play with 20 RBI and 17 stolen bases. The North Augusta, South Carolina native ranked Top 10 in the SBC in eight categories and established new career-highs in home runs and RBI during her first 50-hit campaign in her collegiate career. She also collected Sun Belt Player of the Week honors earlier this week for her .750 weekend against ULM for Senior Weekend including a grand slam in the regular season finale.
Davis ranks in the Top 3 in the country and leads the conference in stolen bases and steals per game. The Lovelady, Texas native became the third Cajun to steal 40 bases in a season and swiped 45 bases in 46 games with a success rate of 87%. Davis is also the first Cajuns freshman since 2014 to reach 60 base hits and leads the team with 61 total hits and 20 multi-hit games.
Allred had a stellar rookie campaign in Lafayette, starting with a stretch from March 3-April 2 that included 23 RBI in 46 at-bats. Headed into the conference tournament, she is tied for the team lead with 43 RBI, reaching 40 RBI in just 92 at-bats.
Landry (15-4, 2.20 ERA) was amazing in conference play, going 7-0 with a 1.99 earned run average, leading the team through a difficult four-week stretch that included JMU, South Alabama, Troy, and Texas State. Landry went 5-0 in that stretch, giving up just nine runs and 21 hits in 34.1 innings for a 1.99 ERA.
Schorman (14-6, 1.82 ERA) also had a major hand in the circle, combining with Landry for 29 wins and a 15-1 record in SBC play. The Kentucky transfer has a staff-high 139 strikeouts on the year and picked up non-conference wins over Indiana, UCF, LSU, and Florida.
Piskos stepped up during conference play, hitting.383 with 10 extra-base hits and 22 RBI. Langliers, meanwhile, turned in another 40-hit, 30-RBI season and was the team’s best middle infielder with a .961 fielding percentage on 153 chances. She fielded 35 of her 38 chances at shortstop cleanly in 2023.
No. 24 Louisiana (43-13, 22-2 SBC) is hosting the Sun Belt Conference Tournament this weekend at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park this week and will play their first game Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. 10 teams from the conference are participating in the single-elimination event for the one automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament. The conference championship game will be played Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
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