Two Softball Cajuns earn NFCA 1st Team All-Americans

Photo: The Advertiser

A record-breaking season for Lexie Elkins and career-high production by Shellie Landry earned the two members of the 11th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team All-American honors, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced on Wednesday.

Elkins, who set a new single-season school home run record with 32, was named a first team All-American for the first time in her career. The Victoria, Texas, native was selected at catcher, making her the top honoree in the nation at her position.

It’s the second straight season Elkins has been recognized by the NFCA, adding to her second-team status from a year ago.

Landry had an all-around, career-best showing recording new personal bests for average (.372), runs (49), hits (64), doubles (16), home runs (20) and total bases (142). The production resulted in the Lafayette area native’s first career All-American honor, being placed on the second team as an at large selection.

“It is a high honor whenever our players are chosen to represent our team and community as All-Americans,” Louisiana softball head coach Michael Lotief said. “Both Lexie and Shellie are deserving, not only because of their skills and ability to perform, but also because of their leadership, commitment to excellence and desire to get better every day.”

It’s the fifth straight season and 24th time in the past 27 seasons, dating back to 1989, that Louisiana has had at least one individual named All-American.

The selection of Elkins and Landry to the 2015 NFCA Division I All-America team increases the total number of All-American selections in program history to 48.

Adding in Landry to the list, there are now 29 different Ragin’ Cajuns that have been bestowed All-American honors. Elkins becomes the 13th in the storied program’s history to garner All-American recognition at least twice in a career.

“Both of those kids started out near the bottom and because of their hard work, persistence and belief in the process are now being recognized as ending up on top,” Lotief remarked. “Besides being great competitors, they are both good students and great teammates who would be the first to be thankful to all who believed in them along the way.”

Elkins is the first Cajun named to the first team since Christi Orgeron in 2012. Landry is the first Lafayette area native named All-American since Karli Hubbard in 2009.

The two-time reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year, Elkins unseated Danyele Gomez as the Cajuns single-season home run record holder with her 32 home runs surpassing the 30 hit by Gomez in 2006. It marked the second straight season she eclipsed 20 home runs, after hitting 24 in 2014.

She produced seven multiple-home run games and 11 games with three-plus RBI. A slugging percentage of 1.077 allowed her to set another single-season school record.

A Top 26 finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year, Elkins led the nation in RBI per game averaging 1.54 per game. Her 83 RBI represents the third-highest tally in school history and she joins Christi Orgeron as the only players to reach 80 RBI.

Landry ranked Top 20 in the NCAA in total home runs and home runs per game. She was among the nation’s Top 50 in both slugging percentage (.826) and RBI per game (1.09).

The Cajuns’ left fielder produced a base hit in 41 of 54 games played. By posting at least one hit in 25 of the final 31 games her average remained above .350 from March 16 through the season’s end.

Landry collected 18 multiple-hit games and 18 multiple-RBI games reaching three-plus hits five times and three-plus RBI six times. She did not commit an error in 69 chances, tracking down 65 fly ball outs.

The Ragin’ Cajuns finished the 2015 campaign with a 42-12 record. Louisiana claimed its second straight Sun Belt Conference regular championship and 13th in the 15 years of league competition since 2001. The squad hosted an NCAA Regional at Lamson Park for the third time in the past four years and advanced to an NCAA Super Regional for the fourth straight year.

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1989: Stefni Whitton

1990: Stefni Whitton (1st)

1991: Dorsey Steamer

1992: Dorsey Steamer (1st), Cathy Sconzo, Kyla Hall

1993: Kyla Hall (1st), Lynn Britton

1994: Kyla Hall (1st), Kathy Morton (1st), Stephanie DeFeo (1st), Lynn Britton, Alyson Habetz, Lana Jimenez

1995: Cheryl Longeway (1st), Kathy Morton (1st), Lynn Britton, Stephanie DeFeo, Lana Jimenez, Tiffany Whittall

1996: Cheryl Longeway (1st), Lynn Britton

1997: Stephanie DeFeo, Tiffany Clark

1999: Tiffany Clark, Kelli Bruce

2000: Tiffany Clark (1st), Jana Mower

2001: Alana Addison

2002: Becky McMurtry

2003: Danyele Gomez, Becky McMurtry

2004: Brooke Mitchell (1st)

2005: Danyele Gomez

2006: Danyele Gomez (1st)

2008: Holly Tankersley (1st)

2009: Karli Hubbard

2011: Gabriele Bridges, Christi Orgeron

2012: Christi Orgeron (1st), Nerissa Myers, Katie Smith

2013: Brianna Cherry, Sarah Draheim

2014: Lexie Elkins, Christina Hamilton

2015: Lexie Elkins (1st), Shellie Landry


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