UL Softball’s Summer Ellyson & Ciara Bryan Get Preseason Honors
Two members of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns received major preseason accolades last week, as they get set to begin the 2021 college softball season.
For a second-consecutive season, senior pitcher Summer Ellyson was named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List, spotlighting the top 50 players in the country, while senior outfielder Ciara Bryan was tabbed a first-team selection to D1Softball's Preseason All-American Team.
Ellyson, an NFCA All-American (third team) and the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2019, put together an 11-1 mark and a 1.83 ERA during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, after going 39-6 in 2019.
The Top 25 Finalists for the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced on April 21 with the Top 10 Finalists being announced on May 5, and the Top Three to be announced on May 19.
The 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed on June 1.
A transfer who played last season at Georgia, Bryan led her squad with 11 home runs, 31 RBI, 33 hits, 39 runs, 74 total bases, an .860 slugging percentage, and 15 stolen bases over a span of 28 games. The home run total co-led the SEC and was ranked fourth nationally.
Last season, Louisiana was 18-6, ranked in everyone's top ten, and number one in the RPI poll when the season was shut down in mid-March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
We'll never know how things would have played out, but it's almost certain UL would have hosted a regional for the first time since 2016, and very likely would have hosted a Super Regional for the first time since 2014.
Had this been the case, Louisiana would have headed to the NCAA Softball Tournament for the 22nd-consecutive year, while making an NCAA Regional appearance for the 30th time in the last 31 years.
The only year since 1990 in which UL failed to appear in a regional was 1998.
Louisiana is one of only 9 programs to appear in an NCAA Regional every year since 2000, joining Alabama, Arizona, Florida St., Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Washington.
The Cajuns are scheduled to open their 2021 season on Friday, February 12 when they take on Missouri St. and Baylor in the 35th Annual Louisiana Classics.