2010 ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGIATE SOFTBALL TEAM
For release in morning newspapers (newsprint editions only — NOT WEB SITES) of Sunday, May 30;
available to all other media, including newspaper Web sites, after 11 p.m. CDT on Saturday, May 29
By Ed Cassiere
Sports Information Director, Xavier University
(written for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association)
Repeat honors for Louisiana-Lafayette's Donna Bourgeois and Louisiana College's Tim Whitman highlight the 2010 All-Louisiana collegiate softball team.
Bourgeois, a junior from Lafayette, is the Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. Whitman, in his ninth season with the Lady Wildcats, repeated as Coach of the Year. But both earned their honors by narrow margins.
Bourgeois received seven votes for Pitcher of the Year from a 19-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of media and sports publicists. LSU's Rachele Fico and Louisiana College's René Schwartzenburg received five votes apiece. Whitman collected seven votes for Coach of the Year, one more than McNeese State's Natalie Poole.
Voting for Hitter of the Year resulted in a tie between two outfielders. Louisiana College's Jodi Montagnino and LSU's Kirsten Shortridge share the award after collecting six votes apiece.
The only special-award vote which lacked drama was Freshman of the Year, where Fico's 12 votes were nine more than her closest competition. Fico dominated a crowded field in which 11 of the state's 14 softball-playing four-year colleges had freshman nominees.
Voting was based on statistics and performances through the teams' conference tournaments.
Bourgeois, a right-hander, was 22-9 with a 1.84 ERA and was co-most outstanding player of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which the Ragin' Cajuns won for the 10th time in 11 seasons. Since losing 5-4 at Troy on April 25, Bourgeois has not allowed a run in 33.1 innings entering the Ragin' Cajuns' Saturday opener at fourth-ranked UCLA in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional.
Whitman led Louisiana College to a 44-8 record, the championship of the American Southwest Conference Tournament and a sixth consecutive tournament berth in NCAA Division III.
Montagnino, a senior from Baton Rouge, hit .390 with 55 RBIs and set Louisiana College season records with 13 home runs and a .508 on-base percentage. Shortridge, a senior from Keller, Texas, and the 2009 Newcomer of the Year, hit .413. Her 85 hits and 44 stolen bases were the second-best season totals in LSU history entering the NCAA Tournament.
Fico, a right-hander from Oxford, Conn., was 19-6 with a 1.21 ERA and set an LSU season record with five saves.
For the second straight year UL Lafayette leads with six first-team selections. Joining Bourgeois as a repeat choice were teammates Lana Bowers (.305, 8 homers, 34 RBIs) at catcher, first baseman Gabriele Bridges (.310, 15 homers, 49 RBIs) and third baseman Melissa Verde (.274, 42 RBIs). Louisiana Tech's Amberly Waits, the 2009 Hitter of the Year, is the first-team shortstop for the third straight season.
Waits hit .412 with 10 homers and 31 RBIs and finished as Tech's career leader in batting average, hits, triples, RBIs and slugging percentage.
Also on the first team are Fico, Northwestern State's Samantha Roberts (.333, five homers, 35 RBIs) at designated player, Nicholls State's Audrey Wood (.301, nine homers, 31 RBIs) at utility and UL Lafayette's Kelly Cormier (.330) at second base and Vallie Gaspard (.421) in the outfield.
Gaspard — who made the 2008 first team as a designated player — and Shortridge led all players with 14 first-team votes. Bourgeois and Wood made the 2008 second team.
Four from LSU — pitcher Cody Trahan, first baseman Anissa Young, outfielder Rachel Mitchell and designated player Ashley Applegate — were selected to the second team. Also on the second team are LC's Schwartzenburg (57-4 in three seasons) and shortstop Mary Alice Roy, pitcher Meagan Bond and second baseman Marissa Koetting of McNeese, catcher Rozane Cassel and outfielder Brianna Love of Louisiana-Monroe, LSU-Alexandria third baseman Jessica Pocorello, UL Lafayette outfielder Christi Orgeron and Southeastern Louisiana utility player Katie Duhe.
Trahan, Love and Orgeron were first team in 2009. Schwartzenburg and Mitchell are repeat second-team selections, and Mitchell was a 2008 first-teamer.
Bond, the runner-up to Fico for Freshman of the Year and fourth in Pitcher of the Year voting, was 22-10 to help McNeese set a school-record of 38 victories. Bond was MVP of the Southland Conference Tournament, which the Cowgirls won for the first time since 2005.
Bond and Trahan tied in votes for the second pitcher spot on the second team.
Seventeen players received honorable mention. Also receiving votes for Coach of the Year were UL Lafayette's Stefni Lotief and Northwestern State's Donald Pickett, whose Lady Demons won 22 more games than a year ago.