Pleasants leads contingent of four LSU players on All-Louisiana softball first team; Torina receives Coach of Year honor

LSU freshman shortstop Taylor Pleasants was named the state’s Freshman of the Year and head coach Beth Torina chosen Coach of the Year to highlight the 2021 All-Louisiana softball team the Louisiana Sports Writers Association announced .

A Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of sports media and college softball publicists selected the All-Louisiana team.

Summer Ellyson of UL-Lafayette repeated as Pitcher of the Year – she also won in 2019 – and Ragin’ Cajun Ciara Bryan was chosen as the Hitter and Newcomer of the Year.

Pleasants hit .316 with 13 home runs, 12 doubles and 49 RBI. She helped LSU reach an NCAA Super Regional for the sixth consecutive time. She’s the sixth player from LSU to win Freshman of the Year and its first since 2014.

Torina reached 400 career LSU victories during the season during her 10th season with the Tigers. LSU, which faced the nation’s top-ranked schedule, racked up nine regular-season wins against ranked opponents, two apiece against UL-Lafayette, Texas, Tennessee and Missouri. LSU was 32-19 entering NCAA regionals and finished 35-22 after a pair of one-run losses to eventual national runner-up Florida State in the Baton Rouge Super Regional.

Torina also won the state’s top coach award in 2015.

Pleasants was joined by teammates Amanda Doyle, Ali Kilponen and Aliyah Andrews and matched UL-Lafayette with four players on the first team.

Doyle, a senior third baseman, was considered a team leader for the Tigers and hit .271 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs, while Andrews batted .365 with two homers, 19 RBIs and 27 stolen bases.

Ellyson – a three-time All-Louisiana first-team selection — was 23-6 with a 2.22 ERA, nine shutouts and 173 strikeouts in 167 innings. Including NCAA tournament games, Ellyson was 25-7 and finished No. 3 on the Ragin’ Cajuns’ career victories list with 99.

Bryan hit .426 with five home runs, 37 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 38 attempts. She slugged .601 and had an on-base percentage of .469. She reached base safely in each of her first 39 games.

Kilponen emerged as one of the team’s most reliable pitchers, both as a starter and in relief. The sophomore right-hander went 14-7 with two saves, striking out 124 batters in 139.2 innings.

Joining Ellyson and Bryan for the Cajuns are Justice Milz at first base and Jade Gortarez at second base. The remainder of the first team consists of pitcher Whitney Tate and designated player Kaylee Lopez of McNeese, catcher Olivia Hennen of LSU-Eunice, outfielder Aeriyl Mass of Southeastern Louisiana and utility player Uchenna Jong Loy of Bossier Parish Community College.

Leading the second team is UL Lafayette with five selections: pitcher Kandra Lamb, Kaitlyn Alderink at third base, Alissa Dalton at shortstop, Kendall Talley in the outfield and Julie Rawls at utility.

The Tigers also had a pair of players on the second team in junior pitcher Shelbi Sunseri (11-7, 84 Ks, 126.2 IP) and freshman outfielder Ciara Briggs (.339, 4 HRs, 17 RBIs, 11 stolen bases) and sophomore first baseman Georgia Clark (.252, 10 HRs, 32 RBIs) was an honorable mention selection.


(season statistics do not include NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA national tournament games)    

First Team


P/Summer Ellyson/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Lafayette, La./23-6, 2.22 ERA, SBC Belt POY

P/Ali Kilponen/LSU/So./Highlands Ranch, Colo./14-7, 1.77 ERA, NFCA All-South second team

P/Whitney Tate/McNeese/Fr./Columbia, La./13-7, 2.07 ERA, All-SLC 2nd, SLC Tournament MVP

C/Olivia Hennen/LSU-Eunice/Fr./Choudrant, La./.426, 11 HR, 49 RBI, NJCAA DII Catcher of Year

1B/Justice Milz/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Kearney, Mo./.313, 8 HR, 34 RBI, All-SBC second team

2B/Jade Gortarez/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Riverside, Calif./.283, 8 HR, 35 RBI

3B/Amanda Doyle/LSU/Sr./Santa Clarita, Calif./.282, 8 HR, 33 RBI, NFCA All-South third team

SS/Taylor Pleasants/LSU/Fr./Houston, Texas/.314, 11 HR, 47 RBI, NFCA A-A 2nd team, SEC Newcomer

OF/Aliyah Andrews/LSU/Sr./Oldsmar, Fla./.365, 2 HR, 19 RBI, NFCA A-A 2nd team, All-Louisiana 3rd time

OF/Ciara Bryan/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Covington, Ga./.426, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 35 SB, SBC Player/Newcomer of Year

OF/Aeriyl Mass/Southeastern/Jr./Lake Charles, La./.368, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 30 SB, All-SLC first team

DP/Kaylee Lopez/McNeese/So./Indian Bayou, La./.388, 0 HR, 19 RBI, All-SLC second team

Util./Uchenna Jong Loy/BPCC/So./Amsterdam, Holland/.521, 27 HR, 84 RBI, NJCAA Region XIV POY

Hitter of the Year:  Ciara Bryan, Louisiana-Lafayette

Pitcher of the Year:  Summer Ellyson, Louisiana-Lafayette

Newcomer of the Year:  Ciara Bryan, Louisiana-Lafayette

Freshman of the Year: Taylor Pleasants, LSU

Coach of the Year:  Beth Torina, LSU

Second Team


P/Primrose Aholelei/BPCC/Fr./Honolulu, Hawaii/17-3, 2.55 ERA, NJCAA Region XIV East POY

P/Kandra Lamb/UL-Lafayette/So./Kurrajong, Australia/16-4, 2.12 ERA, 7 shutouts, All-SBC first team

P/Shelbi Sunseri/LSU/Jr./Santa Fe, Texas/9-6, 2.10 ERA, NFCA All-South 2nd team, SEC Defensive Team

C/Samantha Eckert/BPCC/Fr./West Monroe, La./.390, 9 HR, 37 RBI, NJCAA All-Region XIV first team

1B/Haylee Ladner/BPCC/Fr./Buna, Texas/.383, 9 HR, 59 RBI, NJCAA All-Region XIV second team

2B/Cayla Jones/ Northwestern State/Jr./Missouri City, Texas/.302, 4 HR, 27 RBI, All-SLC third team

3B/Kaitlyn Alderink/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Keller, Texas/.352, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 17-of-17 SB, All-SBC 2nd team

SS/Alissa Dalton/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Cypress, Texas/.386, 4 HR, 26 RBI, All-SBC 2ndteam, All-La. 3rd time

OF/Ciara Briggs/LSU/Fr./Yorba Linda, Calif./.329, 4 HR, 16 RBI, All-SEC Newcomer Team

OF/Audrey Greely/Southeastern/Fr./Geismar, La./.400, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 18-of-20 SB, All-SLC 2nd team

OF/Kendall Talley/UL-Lafayette/So./San Antonio, Texas/.355, 3 HR, 26 RBI, All-Sun Belt first team

DP/E.C. Delafield/Northwestern State/Jr./Stonewall, La./.331, 2 HR, 22 RBI; 12-5 as pitcher, 2.14 ERA

Util./Julie Rawls/UL-Lafayette/Sr./Hallsville, Texas/.293, 9 HR, 52 RBI, All-Sun Belt second team

Honorable Mention

Pitcher:  Jenna Edwards, McNeese; Heather Zumo, Southeastern Louisiana; Catcher:  Chloe Gomez, McNeese; Lauryn McMahon, LSU-Alexandria; First Base: Georgia Clark, LSU; Brooke Romano, Baton Rouge Community College; Second Base:  Dylan Sanay, Bossier Parish; Third Base:  Haylee Brinlee, McNeese; Shortstop:  Tuliliau Sosi, Bossier Parish; Outfield:  Kennedy Cox, Bossier Parish.

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