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Ragin' Cajuns Well-Represented in Sun Belt’s Preseason Softball Picks

UL voted league favorite to win conference
Dalton’s Key Hit Locks Up SBC Championship Game Spot for No. 7 Ragin’ Cajuns
Posted at 8:52 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 21:52:28-05

LAFAYETTE – No. 8 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball headlined the preseason picks released by the Sun Belt Conference on Wednesday, selected as the unanimous favorite to capture the title and receiving numerous individual awards.

A consensus Top 10 choice in the national polls, Louisiana (52-6, 25-0 Sun Belt in 2019) received all 10 of the possible first place votes, and 100 points overall, in the SBC's preseason coaches' poll in landing the first-place distinction. Last season, the Ragin’ Cajuns swept the regular season and conference titles and turned in only the second undefeated conference mark in program and league history.

Reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Summer Ellyson and Sun Belt Player of the Year Alissa Dalton captured the top individual awards, chosen as the preseason candidate for the respective honors.

Ellyson led the nation in wins last season with a 39-6 mark and recorded the third-most strikeouts (354) in program history, while Dalton turned in a .400 average and consistently delivered in clutch situations with over half of her season RBI total (24 out of 43) coming in two-out situations.

The two-time, first team All-Sun Belt honorees were joined on the 2020 preseason squad by six of their teammates, giving Louisiana a total of eight of the 16 individuals selected to the Preseason All-Sun Belt team.

Other returnees joining Ellyson and Dalton in receiving accolades were catcher Julie Rawls, outfielders Sarah Hudek and Raina O’Neal, along with Bailey Curry at designated player. Impact transfers Megan Kleist and Kaitlyn Alderink were also selected to the preseason team.

The 2020 Preseason All-Sun Belt team and poll was voted upon by each of the league’s 10 head coaches.


Louisiana is set to begin the highly anticipated 2020 season on Friday, Feb. 7 at Lamson Park, opening play in the 34th Annual Louisiana Classics against Ball State at 4 p.m. and UTSA at 6 p.m. It’s the start of a season-opening, eight-game homestand which concludes with a meeting with Louisiana State on Saturday, Feb. 15 (the Tigers first visit since 2001).


Season tickets, beginning at $101 for outfield seating, are currently on sale [] and can be purchased by phone at (337) 265-2170, online at using Account Manager [], or by visiting the Cajundome Box Office in-person Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and extended hours during Ragin' Cajuns basketball events.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are scheduled to play 28 games at Lamson Park, highlighted by a visit from Louisiana State on Feb. 15 and Sun Belt Conference series with rivals Texas State and South Alabama.

Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Facebook (/RaginCajunsSB), Twitter (@RaginCajunsSB) and Instagram (@Louisiana.SB []) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Softball.


Preseason Coaches' Poll

First-place votes in parentheses

1. Louisiana (10) – 100 points

2. Troy - 85

3. UTA - 77

4. Texas State - 74

5. Coastal Carolina - 56

6. Appalachian State - 47

7. Georgia Southern - 36

8. South Alabama - 31

9. ULM - 26

10. Georgia State - 18

Preseason All-Sun Belt Team

Summer Ellyson, Louisiana (Sr., P, Lafayette, La.)

Megan Kleist, Louisiana (Sr., P, Appleton, Wisc.)

Julie Rawls, Louisiana (Sr., C, Hallsville, Texas)

Reagan Wright, UTA (Sr., C, Mansfield, Texas)

Katie Webb, Troy (Sr., 1B, Salem, Ala.)

Kaitlyn Alderink, Louisiana (Sr., 2B, Keller, Texas)

Hailey Mackay, Texas State (Sr., 3B, Leander, Texas)

Alissa Dalton, Louisiana (Sr., SS, Cypress, Texas)

Jayden Mount, ULM (Sr., SS, Longview, Texas)

Whitney Walton, UTA (Sr., SS, Lake Jackson, Texas)

Tara Oltmann, Texas State (Jr., SS, Giddings, Texas)

Courtney Dean, Coastal Carolina (Jr., OF, Indian Trail, N.C.)

Mekhia Freeman, Georgia Southern (Sr., OF, Newnan, Ga.)

Sarah Hudek, Louisiana (Sr., OF, Sugar Land, Texas)

Raina O'Neal, Louisiana (Jr., OF, Richmond, Texas)

Bailey Curry, Louisiana (Jr., DP/1B, Frankfort, Ky.)

Preseason Player of the Year

Alissa Dalton, Louisiana (Sr., SS, Cypress, Texas)

Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Summer Ellyson, Louisiana (Sr., P, Lafayette, La.)