McNeese's Piancastelli, Smith and Landreneau earn Southland's to - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese's Piancastelli, Smith and Landreneau earn Southland's top honors

(Source: McNeese) (Source: McNeese)
Landreneau guided McNeese to its second straight Southland Conference regular season title and fourth in the last five years. (Source: Mike Gaither/KPLC) Landreneau guided McNeese to its second straight Southland Conference regular season title and fourth in the last five years. (Source: Mike Gaither/KPLC)
Erika Piancastelli was named Player and Hitter of the Year for the third straight year. (Source: McNeese athletics) Erika Piancastelli was named Player and Hitter of the Year for the third straight year. (Source: McNeese athletics)
Smith picks up her first Pitcher of the Year honor by posting a 15-7 overall record with team-high 85 strikeouts and an 11-1 record and 1.15 ERA in conference play. (Source: Mike Gaither/KPLC) Smith picks up her first Pitcher of the Year honor by posting a 15-7 overall record with team-high 85 strikeouts and an 11-1 record and 1.15 ERA in conference play. (Source: Mike Gaither/KPLC)
FRISCO, TEXAS -

The 2017 Southland Conference Champions, McNeese softball is well represented on the All-Southland Conference team that was released by the league office Monday.

McNeese picked up four of the six individual honors including Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and Coach of the Year.

Junior Erika Piancastelli was named Player and Hitter of the Year for the third straight year and becomes the first McNeese and SLC softball athlete to pick up both honors three times. Senior Rachel Smith was named Pitcher of the Year and James Landreneau was named Coach of the Year.

Piancastelli and Smith were also named to the first team along with sophomore outfielder Justyce McClain and freshman designated player Alexandria Saldivar.

Other Cowgirls named to the team were junior Hailey Drew as a third team shortstop. Second baseman Carleigh Chaumont and senior outfielder Taylor Schmidt were named to the honorable mention team.

Piancastelli, the native of Carlsbad, California, led the league in five offensive categories including slugging percent (.809), on base percent (.584), RBI (29), Home Runs (7) and walks (28) and became McNeese’s and the SLC’s all-time career walks leader over the weekend against Southeastern La. She ended the regular season ranked second in the league with a .441 and tied in runs scored with 24 in league games.

Smith picks up her first Pitcher of the Year honor and the third in program history. It’s the third All-SLC honor for Smith, having been named to the second team in 2015 and third team in 2014. Angela Harrison was Pitcher of the Year in 1994 and Jamie Allred earned the honor in 2014. The Baytown, Texas native posted a 15-7 overall record with team-high 85 strikeouts and an 11-1 record and 1.15 ERA in conference play. Smith held league opponents to a conference low .179 batting average.

McClain, the Cowgirls lead off batter, who hails from Phoenix, Arizona, makes her second All-SLC appearance after being named to the third team in 2016. She led the league with a .500 batting average, 46 hits and was second with a .535 on base percent and tied for third with 24 runs in conference action. McClain leads the Cowgirls with a .447 average, 63 hits and 25 stolen bases. She put together a 13-game hitting streak during the season and has 21 multiple hit games.

Saldivar is a native of Princeton, Texas who took advantage of her role as designated player throughout the year by coming up with clutch hits. The rookie produced an overall .356 batting average with 36 hits, nine doubles and three home runs. In conference games she hit .396 with 21 hits and five doubles.

Drew, the Hallbrook, California native earned her second All-SLC honor and first as a third teamer. She led the league with 33 runs scored and hit by pitches (14) and leads the Cowgirls with 33 runs scored and is third on the team with a .347 batting average in conference games.

Chaumont, the Moss Bluff native makes her first all-conference selection in her first season with the Cowgirls. She produced a .313 bating average with 15 hits, three doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI in conference play.

Schmidt, the native of Yorba Linda, California bounced back from a season ending injury in 2016 to earn her second career all-conference honor. She was named to the second team in 2015. This season, Schmidt batted .255 with 14 hits including three home runs and 13 RBI in conference play.

Landreneau, in his fifth season with the program and first as head coach of the Cowgirls, guided McNeese to its second straight Southland Conference regular season title and fourth in the last five years. Landreneau guided the Cowgirls to a program best 24 conference wins, finishing 24-3. With its current 39-16 record, it’s the ninth straight 30-win season for McNeese. Under Landreneau this season, McNeese led the league in 10 offensive categories in conference action including batting average, slugging percent, on base percent, runs scored, RBI, home runs, walks and stolen bases. The Cowgirl pitching staff pitching staff produced a conference low 1.41 ERA and held opponents to a .224 batting average.  He is the fourth McNeese coach to earn the yearly honor.

2017 All-Southland Conference Softball Teams

First Team

Pos.

Name

University

Class

Hometown

1B

Kasey Fredrick

Nicholls

So.

Bridge City, Texas

2B

Holly Neese

Abilene Christian

Jr.

Plano, Texas

3B

Tori Koerselman

Sam Houston State

Sr.

Huntsville, Texas

SS

Peyton Hedrick3

Abilene Christian

Jr.

Forney, Texas

C

Bryn Baca2

Lamar

Sr.

Round Rock, Texas

UT

Erika Piancastelli3

McNeese

Jr.

Carlsbad, Calif.

DP

Alexandria Saldivar

McNeese

Fr.

Princeton, Texas

OF

Justyce McClain2

McNeese

So.

Phoenix, Ariz.

OF

Taylor Brown3

Abilene Christian

Sr.

Richland Hills, Texas

OF

Brittany Rodriguez2

Lamar

Jr.

Cypress, Texas

P

Rachel Smith

McNeese

Sr.

Baytown, Texas

P

Sidney Holman

Abilene Christian

Fr.

Belton, Texas

Second Team

1B

Mahalia Gibson

Southeastern La.

Jr.

Hattiesburg, Miss.

2B

Brooke Morris

Nicholls

Sr.

Denham Springs, La.

3B

Casey-May Huff

Abilene Christian

Sr.

Calgary, Alberta

SS

Amanda Gianelloni2

Nicholls

So.

Napoleonville, La.

C

Amber Landry

Stephen F. Austin

Jr.

Ponchatoula, La.

UT

Sable Hankins

Lamar

Jr.

Moore, Okla.

DP

Jessica Taylor

Nicholls

Sr.

Colleyville, Texas

OF

Samantha Mracich

Nicholls

Fr.

Metairie, La.

OF

Kinsey Nichols

Southeastern La.

Jr.

Alvin, Texas

OF

Briana Whisenhunt3

Central Arkansas

Sr.

Crandall, Texas

P

Kayla Gomness

Central Arkansas

Sr.

Lemoore, Calif.

P

Ciara Luna2

Lamar

Sr.

Seguin, Texas

Third Team

1B

Brianna Barnhill

Abilene Christian

Jr.

Rhome, Texas

2B

Kelly Meeuwsen2

Lamar

So.

Hillsboro, Ore.

3B

Jordan Rains

Northwestern State

Sr.

Houston, Texas

SS

Hailey Drew2

McNeese

Jr.

Fallbrook. Calif.

C

Christy  Trevino

UIW

Sr.

San Antonio, Texas

UT

Mikaela Flores2

UIW

Sr.

Lockhart, Texas

DP

Cyla Hill

Central Arkansas

Fr.

Henryetta, Okla.

OF

Kellye Kincannon3

Northwestern State

Sr.

Lake Jackson, Texas

OF

Ashley McDowell

Lamar

Sr.

Plano, Texas

OF

Danielle Ramirez

UIW

Sr.

San Antonio, Texas

P

Liz Carter

A&M-Corpus Christi

Sr.

Austin, Texas

P

Megan Landry

Nicholls

So.

Pierre Part, La.

Two-time all-conference selection

Three-time all-conference selection

               

Honorable Mention – Catcher: Kaleigh Singleton, Abilene Christian. First Base: Alex Alonzo, UIW. Second Base: Carleigh Chaumont, McNeese.Third Base: Kassie James, Houston Baptist. Shortstop: Tiffany Thompson, Sam Houston State. Designated Player: Hannah Marino, Sam Houston State. Utility Player: Sydney Bourg, Nicholls. Outfield: Braegan Hamilton, Abilene Christian; Taylor Schmidt, McNeese; Corina Thornton, Lamar.Pitcher: Lindsey McLeod, Sam Houston State.

Individual Awards

Player of the Year: Erika Piancastelli, McNeese

Hitter of the Year: Erika Piancastelli, McNeese

Pitcher of the Year: Rachel Smith, McNeese

Freshman of the Year: Sidney Holman, Abilene Christian

Newcomer of the Year: Mahalia Gibson, Southeastern La.

Coach of the Year: James Landreneau, McNeese

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