The No. 7 UL Ragin’ Cajuns softball program placed a league-high nine individuals on the All-Sun Belt Conference team and nearly posted a clean sweep of the major awards Tuesday.
Alissa Dalton, the Sun Belt Player of the Year, and Summer Ellyson, the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year, received the highest recognition among their league peers. It’s the 12th time in program history that UL has swept both awards, and the first occurrence since 2016.
It’s a loaded question in so many ways.
Sarah Hudek is Newcomer of the Year award for her impact in her debut season. Coach Gerry Glasco is Coach of the Year honors after guiding UL (47-4, 25-0 Sun Belt) to the regular-season championship, with the second undefeated conference mark in program and SBC history, and a top-10 national ranking.
Dalton, Ellyson and Hudek were joined by Lexie Comeaux, Keeli Milligan and Julie Rawls on the first team. Dalton and Ellyson were first-team selections for the second straight season.
Sisters Kara and Kourtney Gremillion along with Raina O’Neal registered a spot on the second team. The eldest Gremillion, Kara, the team’s senior third baseman, collected an All-Sun Belt award for the third consecutive season.
Dalton, the 2018 SBC Newcomer of the Year, picked up a major award for the second straight season. She played a key role in UL's ascension to the top of the league and into the nation’s Top 10, sporting a .494 average with 11 multiple-hit games since mid-March. In conference play, she held team-highs in average (.417), hits (30) and runs scored (23).
Ellyson (34-4, 0.98 ERA, 303 K) is the nation’s leader in wins and one of only five pitchers nationwide entering postseason play with a sub-1.00 ERA. She recorded all three wins in a SBC series four times, including matchups with Texas State and Troy, and her season ERA is a full run lower than the next competitor.
Hudek is the league's leader in total bases (100) on the strength of a team-high 22 extra base hits which includes a career-best 10 home runs. In conference play, she was tied for the league lead in home runs, led the way in slugging percentage and ranked Top 10 in nearly every other category.
Comeaux was a driving force behind UL's offensive production in Sun Belt play, totaling a team-high tying 23 RBIs. Milligan, the school and Sun Belt’s record holder with 57 stolen bases, closed the regular season strong, hitting .458, producing 27 hits and 10 RBIs and swiping 22 stolen bases since March 31.
Rawls, converted from an outfielder to catcher, posted a team-high tying 10 home runs, team-leading 49 RBI and 16 multiple-hit games. Her presence behind the plate has seen UL go from yielding 64 stolen base attempts in 2018 to just 28 this season.
Kara Gremillion generated a career-best 15 extra base hits, led UL with 11 doubles and continued to be a lockdown presence at third base with only six errors over 139 chances during the regular season. Kourtney Gremillion had her biggest impact in conference games, posting over half of her season hits and RBI totals and the bulk of her home run production in league action.
In her debut season with the Cajuns, O'Neal has produced a career-high 51 hits — reaching the 50-plateau for the first time — and is on pace for a second double-digit home run season and the first career .300-plus average season of her career.
No. 7 UL is set to participate in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas, beginning 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
At times during their year and a half together, it’s probably felt like a tug-of-war for both of them.
All-Sun Belt Conference
P Kenzie Longanecker, App. St., Jr.
P Summer Ellyson, UL, Jr.
P Leanna Johnson, Troy, Fr.
C Julie Rawls, Louisiana, Jr.
1B Katie Webb, Troy, Jr.
2B Keeli Milligan, UL, Sr.
3B Hannah Farrell, Ga. Southern, Sr.
SS Alissa Dalton, UL, Jr.
SS Whitney Walton, UTA, Jr.
OF Sarah Hudek, UL, Jr.
OF Sydney McKay, ULM, Sr.
OF Victoria Ortiz, South Alabama, Fr.
OF Brittani Reid, South Alabama, Jr.
OF Laura Curry, UTA, Sr.
DP Lexie Comeaux, UL, Sr.
SUN BELT PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Alissa Dalton, UL
SUN BELT PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Summer Ellyson, UL
SUN BELT FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Leanna Johnson, Troy
SUN BELT NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Sarah Hudek, UL
SUN BELT COACH OF THE YEAR
Gerry Glasco, UL
All-SUN BELT SECOND TEAM
P Kaitlin Beasley-Polko, Coastal Carolina, Soph.
P Randi Phillips, UTA, Soph.
P Meagan King, Texas State, Soph.
C Reagan Wright, UTA, Jr.
1B Kourtney Gremillion, UL, Soph.
1B Aileen Garcia, UTA, Jr.
2B Taylor Sweigart, Coastal Carolina, Soph.
3B Kara Gremillion, UL, Sr.
3B Keri White, Appalachian State, Jr.
SS Tara Oltmann, Texas State, Soph.
OF Courtney Dean, Coastal Carolina, Soph.
OF Raina O'Neal, UL, Soph.
OF Krista Rude, UTA, Sr.
OF Christiana McDowell, Texas State, Jr.
DP Bailey Taylor, Troy, Soph.