Three Northwestern State players selected for All-Southland Conference Teams



Three Northwestern State softball players were selected to the All-Southland Conference Teams on Monday, announced the league office.

Second baseman Cayla Jones made the first team and was a finalist for the conference’s Freshman of the Year.

Senior outfielder Sidney Salmans impressed league voters enough to be picked for the second team despite missing the final three conference series with a broken thumb.

Sophomore Kaitlyn St. Clair qualified for third-team utility after playing in the outfield and as a designated player.

The all-conference selections were the first for each player as Salmans adds this league honor to an all-academic pick as a junior.

Senior pitcher Micaela Bouvier and sophomore outfielder Julie Rawls were honorably mentioned at their positions.

“Consistency — these players were the most consistent throughout the year,” said NSU coach Donald Pickett. “A lot of them battled through tough times and injuries and bounced back.

“It’s good to see our kids rewarded for hard work and sacrifice on the field. All of those kids are talented and important to what we do, and a lot of those are also our hardest workers who take the extra time and effort to be the players that they are.”

Jones ranked in the league’s top six in five different categories, including a .382 batting average (fourth), .700 slugging (second), .531 on-base (second), nine home runs (fourth) and 38 runs scored (sixth).

The Missouri City, Texas, native is NSU’s first first-team selection since 2015 when six Lady Demons — including pitchers Bouvier and Mikayla Brown — were picked for the top squad.

Salmans hit .394 in SLC play to raise her season average to .306. The Woodlands, Texas, native had 27 hits in her final 17 games before her injury. Her 25 runs scored this season increased her career total to 125, which is sixth best in program history.

After a few spot starts earlier in the season, St. Clair made her mark after entering the starting lineup in early April with an injury to Rawls.

St. Clair had 13 of 21 RBIs and 10 of her 15 runs scored in the last 16 games. She had NSU’s second-best batting average (.312).

McNeese’s Erika Piancastelli won her fourth consecutive Player and Hitter of the Year.

Nicholls, the league champion, swept the other awards with Megan Landry (pitcher), Jewel Lara (freshman), Kali Clement (newcomer) and Angel Santiago (coach) taking home superlative honors.

League coaches and sports information directors voted on the superlative awards and all-conference teams.