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Melissa Mayeux named Sun Belt Player of the Year

Nine Ragin’ Cajuns Earn All-Sun Belt Honors
Posted at 3:13 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 19:33:36-04

LAFAYETTE  The No. 22-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball team had a league-high nine individuals earn a spot on the 2022 All-Sun Belt Softball Team highlighted by Melissa Mayeux who was named the Sun Belt Player of the Year, the conference office announced on Monday (May 9, 2022).

Joining Mayeux in claiming one of the major awards for Louisiana was Jourdyn Campbell who was selected as the Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year.

For the third consecutive time that All-SBC awards were handed out, Louisiana claimed both the Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year award.

Mayeux (second base) and Campbell (third base) were joined on the All-Sun Belt First Team by catcher Sophie Piskos and designated player Karly Heath.

Pitchers Kandra Lamb and Sam Landry, along with Stormy Kotzelnick (first base), Alexa Langeliers (shortstop) and Maddie Hayden (outfield) each received a spot on the All-Sun Belt Second Team.

The individual awards and all-conference selections were voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches.

Louisiana's nine all-conference selections mark the second-most in program history, trailing only the 10 All-SBC selections captured in 2002 and 2005. It also matches the 2019 team for the highest amount of honorees in the Gerry Glasco era.

The Ragin’ Cajuns placed at least eight players on the All-Sun Belt team for the third straight time under Glasco’s guidance, increasing the total number of selections under his watch to 30. The program's all-time All-Sun Belt selections total grew to 154 (2000-present).

Lamb, a first team selection in 2021, earned a repeat spot on the All-Sun Belt team. The remainder of the Ragin’ Cajuns contingent received their first career accolade.

Mayeux’s rise as Louisiana’s top impact player began when she stepped up during Langeliers' nine-game absence at shortstop from March 20-April 6, beginning her season resurgence by hitting .440 (11-for-25) with six extra base hits (2 doubles, 4 home runs) and nine RBI while fielding all but two of the 23 chances seen at shortstop cleanly during the stretch.

Over the 28-game stretch since March 20, Mayeux has totaled 28 base hits (17 for extra bases), scored 29 runs, posted 24 RBI and fielded 63 of 65 fielding chances cleanly, leading the charge in Louisiana's 25-3 run.

For the season, Mayeux has posted her Ragin' Cajuns-best totals in average (.336), runs (35), hits (42), doubles (12), home runs (6), RBI (29) and fielding percentage (.989). In Sun Belt play she batted .366 with a .789 slugging percentage and recorded a team-best 17 extra base hits (10 doubles, triple, six home runs).

Campbell was a .400-plus hitter nearly the entire season, raising her average above the mark on Feb. 25, maintaining the mark through the regular season’s end, and finishing with a .416 average (52-for-125). She produced 20 extra base hits (10 doubles, triple, nine home runs) and led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 18 multiple-hit games, overall, with 10 of those occurring in SBC action.

The Texas A&M transfer ranked Top 10 in conference play in average (.424), slugging percentage (.788), on base percentage (.500), OPS (1.288), runs scored (18), base hits (28) and RBI (18).

Piskos entered May leading the team and the entire Sun Belt with 22 RBI in conference play, quickly building the lead by piling up 15 RBI on a .464 average over her first 33 plate appearances. Three times she posted four (4) RBI in games that factored into Louisiana continuing its SBC series won streak: facing 1-0 series deficits against Georgia State and App State and the rubber match at Georgia Southern.

Heath emerged as Louisiana’s top power-hitting threat, leading the Sun Belt in home runs (9), slugging percentage (.941) and OPS (1.427) in conference play. She is Louisiana's overall leader in home runs with 12 – the first season of her collegiate career with double digits in home runs and the most recorded by an individual in the Glasco era.

More than half of Heath’s career-high 37 RBI came during Sun Belt play (20). She has seen 69 percent of her season total of 26 base hits go for extra bases (4 doubles, 2 triples, 12 home runs).

Landry, twice named Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week, led Louisiana in wins both overall (18) and in conference play (12). Lamb was the pitching staff's leader in ERA both overall (1.87) and in conference play (1.84).

Kotzelnick leads Louisiana with 45 overall RBI, generating 27 RBI in SBC action which was the highest individual total league-wide. She generated at least one RBI in 18 of 27 conference outings. The team leader with 28 extra base hits overall (14 doubles, 6 triples, 8 home runs), Kotzelnick tops the Sun Belt with six triples which is two shy of the school record set back in 1995.

Langeliers, who has started at shortstop every game that she’s appeared in during her collegiate debut season, reached the 30-mark in runs, hits and RBI in less than 100 at bats and has launched 11 home runs. Hayden is the Sun Belt’s leader in stolen bases (27), joins Kotzelnick as the conference's only two players with 50-plus base hits and 20-plus stolen bases, and is the first Ragin' Cajuns true freshman to reach 50 base hits since 2014 when her older sister, Haley, accomplished the feat.

No. 22 Louisiana (41-11, 23-4 Sun Belt) is set to participate in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Jaguar Field in Mobile, Ala., beginning on Wednesday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m., against the winner of the Coastal Carolina-ULM single-elimination game. All games in the tournament, which concludes Saturday, May 14 with the 2:30 p.m. championship game, are being broadcast on ESPN+ and can be heard over the air on ESPN Lafayette 103.3 FM and 1420 AM.

All-Sun Belt First Team

Leanna Johnson, Troy (Jr., P – Brantley, Ala.)

Olivia Lackie, South Alabama (So., P – Walker, La.)

Jessica Mullins, Texas State (So., P – Tarkington, Texas)

Sophie Piskos, Louisiana (So., C – Paris, Tenn.) 

Caitlyn Rogers, Texas State (Sr., C – Magnolia, Texas)

Kennedy Johnson, ULM (Jr., 1B – Houston, Texas)

Kelly Horne, Troy (Jr., 1B – Tallahassee, Fla.)

Melissa Mayeux, Louisiana (Sr., 2B – Le Barcares, France) 

Hannah Earls, Texas State (So., SS – Willis, Texas)

Jourdyn Campbell, Louisiana (So., 3B – Kingwood, Texas) 

Mackenzie Brasher, South Alabama (Jr., OF – Orange Beach, Ala.)

Kayt Houston, App State (So., OF – Rock Hill, S.C.)

Caroline Nichols, South Alabama (Sr., OF – Hoover, Ala.)

Makiya Thomas, Coastal Carolina (Gr., OF – Tacoma, Wash.)

Karly Heath, Louisiana (Jr., DP – North Augusta, S.C.) 

All-Sun Belt Second Team 

Jenna Hardy, South Alabama (Jr., P – Whitehouse, Ohio)

Kandra Lamb, Louisiana (Jr., P – Kurrajong, Australia) 

Sam Landry, Louisiana (Fr., P – Mont Belvieu, Texas) 

Morgan Rios, UTA (Gr., C – Mansfield, Texas)

Stormy Kotzelnick, Louisiana (RS Fr., 1B – Carmel, Ind.) 

Alexis Chavez, ULM (Fr., 2B – Riverside, Calif.)

Alexa Langeliers, Louisiana (Fr., SS – Keller, Texas) 

Meredith Keel, South Alabama (Sr., 3B – Ashville, Ohio)

Lourdes Bacon, ULM (So., OF – San Antonio, Texas)

Maddie Hayden, Louisiana (Fr., OF – West Monroe, La.) 

Mary Pierce Barnes, App State (Sr., OF – Waxhaw, N.C.)

Jade Sinness, Troy (So., OF – Sebring, Fla.)

Ciara Trahan, Texas State (Fr., OF – Santa Fe, Texas)

Cat Crenek, Texas State (Sr., DP – Cypress, Texas)

Iyanla De Jesus, Coastal Carolina (Jr., DP – Mill Creek, Wash.)

Sun Belt Player of the Year

Melissa Mayeux, Louisiana (Sr., 2B – Le Barcares, France)

Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year

Jessica Mullins, Texas State (So., P – Tarkington, Texas)

Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year

Jourdyn Campbell, Louisiana (So., 3B – Kingwood, Texas)

Sun Belt Freshman of the Year

Ciara Trahan, Texas State (Fr., OF – Santa Fe, Texas)

Sun Belt Coach of the Year

Becky Clark, South Alabama

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