Four of a kind: LSU softball selected to finish third in 2024 SEC race, has four of its players on league’s preseason team

LSU had the second most players selected on the 2024 Southeastern Conference preseason softball coaches poll, and the Tigers were picked to finish third in the 13-team league.

Sophomore pitcher Sydney Berzon, graduate students Ciara Briggs (center field), Taylor Pleasants (shortstop) and senior Danieca Coffey (third base) helped the Tigers match Georgia with four selections on the preseason team. Tennessee led the way with five.

Tennessee and Georgia both received six first-place votes and were separated by one vote with the Lady Vols (137 total votes) getting the nod over the Bulldogs (136) and LSU (106) to win the SEC’s regular season.

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

Beth Torina begins her 13th season as head coach of LSU which opens the season Feb. 8 at home against Nicholls at 6 p.m.

Berzon received third team All-America honors in 2023 following an impressive freshman season with a 14-8 record, 1.91 earned run average, 127 strikeouts. She also had 11 complete games, four shutouts and is the program first All-American freshman pitcher in eight years.

Briggs returns to anchor one of the nation’s top outfields along with senior Ali Newland in left and junior McKenzie Redoutey in right.

She’s a two-time winner of the Gold Glove award, having made no errors in 176 chances in 2023. She also batted .347 with two homers, 68 hits, 24 RBIs, 46 runs and 11 stolen bases.

LSU also placed a couple of its infielders on the team with Coffey (.392, team-high 74 hits), .482 on-base percentage and 12 stolen bases, and Pleasants, a .346 hitter with a .562 slugging percentage, 56 hits, eight homers, team-best 53 RBIs and 11 doubles. She also helped anchor an infield by being part of 15 double plays with 118 assists and had a .968 fielding percentage.

All of LSU’s selections were voted to the league’s postseason second team in ’23.

2024 SEC Softball Coaches’ Poll

(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

1.Tennessee (6) 137

2. Georgia (6) 136

3. LSU 106

4. Arkansas 103

5. Auburn 100

6. Alabama 88

7. Florida (1) 77

8. Texas A&M 75

9. South Carolina 68

10. Kentucky 53

11. Missouri 28

12. Ole Miss 24

13. Mississippi State 19

2024 Preseason All-SEC team

Name, School, Class

Sydney Berzon, LSU, So.

Ciara Briggs, LSU, Graduate Student

Danieca Coffey LSU, Sr.

Taylor Pleasants, LSU, Graduate Student

Rylin Hedgecock, Arkansas, Sr

Maddie Penta, Auburn, Sr.

Nelia Peralta, Auburn, Jr.

Kendra Falby, Florida, Jr.

Skyler Wallace, Florida, Sr.

Jayda Kearney, Georgia, Sr.

Sydney Kuma, Georgia, Graduate Student

Sara Mosley, Georgia, Sr.

Shelby Walters, Georgia, Graduate Student

Erin Coffel, Kentucky, Sr,

Stephanie Schnoover, Kentucky, Sr.

Alex Honnold, Missouri, Sr.

Jenna Laird, Missouri, Sr.

Alana Vawter, South Carolina, Sr.

McKenna Gibson, Tennessee, Jr.

Payton Gottshall, Tennessee, Graduate Student

Kiki Milloy, Tennessee, Graduate Student

Karlyn Pickens, Tennessee, So.

Zaida Puni, Tennessee, Sr.

Julia Cottrell, Texas A&M, Sr.

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William Weathers

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