UL had seven players named to the first team, while three made the second squad. Headlining the awards for the Cajuns were Christi Orgeron, who was named the Hitter of the Year for the second straight season, Jordan Wallace was selected as the Freshman of the Year, Matte Haack split the Newcomer of the Year with Louisiana Tech’s Melanie Goff and co-head coaches Stefni and Michael Lotief were tabbed as the Coaches of the Year.
Orgeron, who was named a first team NFCA All-American on Wednesday, hit .351 with 22 home runs and a nation leading 94 RBI. She was first-team All-Louisiana for the third and finished her career as the school and Sun Belt Conference all-time RBI leader with 288, which ranks sixth in NCAA history. Her 70 career long balls are good for third best in Ragin’ Cajuns history and tied NCAA records with six grand slams this season and nine in her career.
Wallace finished the season compiling a record of 27-2 and set an NCAA mark with the best start for a freshman pitcher to begin her career at 23-0. The Weatherford, Texas native led the SBC in wins and was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year.
A junior transfer from Arizona, Haack, was a big part of the Cajun’s success this season, batting in the cleanup slot behind Orgeron. The Katy, Texas native finished third on the team in RBI (56), fourth in home runs (9) and hit .333, nearly 200 points higher than her first two years at Arizona.
The Lotiefs garnered their fifth coach of the year accolades after leading the Cajuns to a 53-6 record, including their 11th regular season SBC title in the last 12 years. UL also won the Lafayette Regional and set a school record by opening up the season with a record of 28-0.
Joining Orgeron, Wallace and Haack on the first team were Nerissa Myers, Katie Smith, Paige Cormier and Sarah Draheim.
Myers, a third team NFCA All-American, led the country with 83 runs, breaking the UL and SBC record, which she tied a year ago. The 83 runs were the 11th most runs scored in a single season in NCAA history. The Petal, Miss. native finished third in the nation with 79 RBI and second on the team with 13 home runs. The shortstop contributed to the NCAA record 12 grand slams the Cajuns hit this year, by blasting four, which are tied for the third most in a single season in NCAA history.
Smith, who also was named to the NFCA All-America third team, broke the Ragin’ Cajuns single season batting average record by hitting .477 on the year. She sits third all-time in the program’s history in career batting average (.392) and stolen bases (90). The Ruston, La. native finished the season with the second most hits in SBC history with 88 and sits third on the league’s career charts with 259.
Cormier had a breakout year for the Cajuns, posting career-highs with 12 home runs and 48 RBI. The Carencro, La. native made all 59 starts at second base and started 109 straight games to end her career. She hit a solo shot in game one of the Tempe Super Regional against Arizona State to help propel the Cajuns to the 6-0 victory.
Draheim, a second team All-SBC member, finished the year fifth on the team in home runs (8) and sixth in RBI (34). A junior catcher from Flower Mound, Texas was a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen bases and posted her first career multi-home run game against Georgia Tech (3/22), going 3-for-4 from the dish and helping the Cajuns erase a seven-run deficit for the 12-11 win.
Ashley Brignac, Brianna Cherry and Natalie Fernandez all earned spots on the second team to round out the UL selections.
Brignac, a three-time SBC Pitcher of the Year winner, finished the year 23-4 with a team-high six shutouts. The River Ridge, La. native was recently named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for the second straight season. She finished her career at UL second all-time in winning percentage (.817), strikeouts per seven innings (8.37) and strikeouts (862), while sitting third in wins (94) and no-hitters (7).
Cherry posted the fourth highest batting average on the team, hitting .352 with seven home runs and 47 runs driven in. The junior from Petal, Miss. patrolled center field for Louisiana, leading the team with four outfield assists. She recorded a career-best four hits in the win over No. 24 Tulsa (2/11) and had a career-high of six RBI against Stephen F. Austin (3/4).
Fernandez, a first team All-SBC member, completed the year second on the squad with a .436 batting average. The sophomore hit safely in 50-of-59 games and committed just six errors in 142 chances at third base. The Capital One Academic All-District selection currently ranks first all-time in Ragin’ Cajuns history with a career batting average of .410.
Louisiana’s 10 player selections were the most of any state school and marked the fifth straight season UL has led the award nominations.
2012 ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGIATE SOFTBALL TEAM
Rachele Fico, P LSU
Jordan Wallace, P Louisiana
Sarah Draheim, C Louisiana
Matte Haack, 1B Louisiana
Paige Cormier, 2B Louisiana
Ashley Ray, 3B Nicholls State
Nerissa Myers, SS Louisiana
Ashley Langoni, OF LSU
Christi Orgeron, OF Louisiana
Katie Smith, OF Louisiana
Claire Terracina, OF McNeese State
Ashley Modzelewski, DP McNeese State
Melanie Goff, UT Louisiana Tech
Hitter of the Year: Christi Orgeron, Louisiana
Pitcher of the Year: Rachele Fico, LSU
Newcomer of the Year: (tie) Matte Haack, Louisiana; Melanie Goff, Louisiana Tech
Freshman of the Year: Jordan Wallace, Louisiana
Coaches of the Year: Stefni and Michael Lotief, Louisiana
Ashley Brignac, P Louisiana
Brittany Mack, P LSU
Cassandra Barefield, C Northwestern State
Janel Salanoa, 1B ULM
Ashley Bertot, 2B Nicholls State
Natalie Fernandez, 3B Louisiana
Daniele Wilson, SS Louisiana College
Briana Cherry, OF Louisiana
Alanna DiVittorio, OF McNeese State
Erin Kipp, DP Louisiana Tech
Pitcher: Tiffany Denham, McNeese State
Catcher: Meghan Gomez, Southeastern Louisiana
First Base: Janna Frandup, Louisiana Tech; Brianna Rodriguez, Northwestern State
Second Base: Stephanie Jaeger, Louisiana College
Shortstop: Juliana Santos, LSU
Outfield: Meggie Burkett, Louisiana College
Designated Player: Ashton Bennett, Nicholls State