OKLAHOMA CITY — LSU shortstop Bianka Bell and UL-Lafayette catcher Lexie Elkins were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America softball team Wednesday.
The team was announced on the eve of the Women’s College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Bell is batting .430 with 17 home runs and 72 RBIs going into the Tigers’ WCWS opener against Auburn.
Elkins, who helped lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to a super regional meeting with Auburn, batted. 429, led the country with 32 homer runs and was second with 83 RBIs.
LSU’s Sahvanna Jaquish (designated player) and outfielder Bailey Landry made the second team, and freshman pitchers Carley Hoover and Allie Walljasper made the third team. UL-Lafayette outfielder Shellie Landry was a second-team selection.
Auburn still rolling
Auburn was on a roll when it left Baton Rouge after a week-and-a-half stay earlier this month, and it hasn’t let up.
It won two out of three against LSU to close the regular season, then continued with its first SEC tournament title at Tiger Park.
Since then, Auburn beat Tennessee Tech (4-1), and South Alabama twice (1-0, 7-4) to win its regional before sweeping UL-Lafayette (12-11 in eight innings, 6-3) to win its super regional.
Pac-12 chasing SEC now
Clint Myers is in his second season at Auburn after spending eight seasons at Arizona State during the Pac-12’s heyday. He was asked to compare the Pac-12 to the SEC, which has five teams here.
“The SEC is much better as far as strength of schedule, as far as the ability to play a postseason opponent every weekend in the conference play,” Myers said. “It has bypassed. It’s a lot stronger and now the Pac-12 is wanting to be like us.
“They’re still a great conference. They have two great teams here with UCLA and Oregon. (But) it’s a situation where the SEC has really come on and they’re going to be around for a long, long time.”
Tennessee is planning to drop the “Lady” prefix and start calling its women’s teams the Vols in the fall.
LSU coach Beth Torina was asked if “Lady Tigers” was a source of pride.
“We don’t do that, unless it’s a sport where it’s men’s or women’s basketball,” Torina said. “We don’t necessarily feel that we’re baseball’s exact counterpart, so we’re just called the Tigers, and I’m great with it.”