5 UL Softball Players Named To All-Region Team
Five members of the 14th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team have been named to the 2017 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I All-Central Region Team.
Outfielder Haley Hayden, outfielder Aleah Craighton, and shortstop DJ sanders received NFCA All-Central Region First Team honors, while catcher Lexie Comeaux was a second team selection, and pitcher Alex Stewart received third-team honors.
All five are now eligible for selection to the 207 Division I All-American team, which will be announced on May 31.
The all-region awards honor softball student-athletes from the NFCA's 10 regions with first, second team and selections. NFCA member coaches from each respective region voted on the teams.
The five all-region selections were third-most in the Central Region, trailing only Oklahoma (seven) and Baylor (six), and marks the fourth straight season (2014-17) that Louisiana has produced at least four all-region honorees.
Hayden, who returned to the first team for the first time since 2015, received the fourth all-region honor of her career, becoming the first Cajun since the 1990s to earn all-region all four years of a career, joining an elite list in program history that includes: Lynn Britton, Stephanie DeFeo, Kyla Hall, Lana Jimenez, Kathy Morton and Dorsey Steamer.
A senior from West Monroe, Hayden is currently hitting a .382, to go along with 12 home runs and 56 runs batted in.
Craighton grabbed her second career all-region award, repeating as a first team selection, after hitting a .356 with 18 homers and 53 RBI's.
Sanders, a second team pick in 2016, moved up to the first team following a fantastic season, in which she was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, as well as a USA Softball Player of the Year Top 10 finalist, after hitting a .397, while leading the nation in both home runs and runs batted in, with 28 and 78, respectively.
Comeaux, an All-Sun Belt Conference selection, is hitting a .351 with 10 homers and 47 RBI's in her first year as a starter.
Stewart ends her career as a back-to-back all-region pick (first team in 2016), after going 25-3 with a 1.66 ERA in the circle, while reaching 20 wins for the second straight season and posting a perfect 15-0 record in Sun Belt Conference regular season play.
Louisiana, who is 45-6 on the season, is set to make its 19th consecutive appearance, and 27th overall in the past 28 seasons, in the NCAA Softball Tournament Friday-Sunday, May 19-21 at the Baton Rouge Regional.
The Cajuns the McNeese St. Cowgirls on Friday afternoon at 5 pm in their first regional contest.