Two for Lexie Elkins, two for Carley Hoover, two for Louisiana-Lafayette and two for Nicholls State — that’s a quick summary of major awards on the All-Louisiana collegiate softball team.
Elkins, Louisiana-Lafayette’s two-time first-team All-America catcher, is the state’s Hitter of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
Hoover, an LSU sophomore right-hander, repeated as Pitcher of the Year but shares the honor with the Ragin’ Cajuns Alex Stewart.
And for the first time in its history, Nicholls State won two major state awards in the same season — shortstop Amanda Gianelloni is Freshman of the Year and Angel Santiago is Coach of the Year.
A Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of media and sports publicists selected the All-Louisiana team.
Elkins, a senior, missed the final 18 regular-season games because of a thumb injury but still produced a .517 batting average, 17 home runs and 44 RBIs. She hit .430 in three seasons with the Cajuns and set an NCAA Division I career record with 0.50 home runs per game (75 in 150 games). The Cajuns won Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament championships and earned a berth in an NCAA super regional.
Elkins was the No. 1 overall pick of National Pro Fastpitch’s Pennsylvania Rebellion on April 14.
Hoover was 18-7 with a 2.37 ERA and 194 strikeouts. She tied an LSU record by winning her first 10 decisions, and she struck out a career-best 15 batters Feb. 28 against Texas Tech. She pitched her first collegiate no-hitter March 6 against Tennessee Tech as LSU reached the Women’s College World Series for the second consecutive year.
Stewart, a junior right-hander, was 27-4 with a 1.52 ERA. She led the state in victories, didn’t walk a batter in her first 35.2 innings, won twice against then-fifth-ranked Oregon and was second-team All-America.
Gianelloni, from Napoleonville, hit .391 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs. She was the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and the only freshman voted first-team All-Southland. She is the Colonels’ second Louisiana Freshman of the Year and the first since Phyllis Guedry in 1990.
Santiago, in his fifth season at Nicholls, led the Colonels to their most overall victories (39-17) and conference victories (21-5) since 1998. Nicholls placed second in the Southland regular season after being picked in preseason polls to finish seventh and eighth.
Joining Elkins and Stewart on the first team are teammates Aleah Craighton and Shellie Landry in the outfield and Haley Hayden at second base. LSU placed Hoover, Bell, Sandra Simmons (first base) and Sahvanna Jaquish (designated player) on the first team.
The Cajuns’ Hayden is first-team All-Louisiana for the third consecutive year and the second straight time at second base. She was an outfielder in 2014.
LSU’s Bell, a shortstop the previous three seasons, is first-team All-Louisiana for the fourth consecutive year. She capped her career by hitting .395 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. Simmons made the first team for the second time in three years, and Jaquish is first team for the third consecutive season.
Also on the first team are Nicholls’ Gianelloni, Louisiana-Monroe’s Rochelle Roberts in the outfield and McNeese’s Emily Vincent at utility. Vincent is first team for the second consecutive year.
UL-Lafayette and McNeese have three apiece on the second team. The Cajuns’ honorees are Kara Gremillion at third base, DJ Sanders at shortstop and Sara Corbello at designated player. The McNeese second-team selections are Piancastelli, Jamie Allred at pitcher and Hailey Drew at second base.
Also on the second team are first baseman Kim Gonzalez and third baseman Heather Bunn of LSU-Alexandria, outfielder Bailey Landry and utility Allie Walljasper of LSU, pitcher Hannah Haydel of Nicholls State and outfielders Katie Lacour of Southeastern Louisiana and Morgan Turkoly of Louisiana Tech. Lacour stole 58 bases and led NCAA Division I in steals per game.