LAKE CHARLES — With the opening day of the softball season just over two weeks, McNeese two time All-American Erika Piancastelli is getting preseason national recognition.
Piancastelli, a junior from Carlsbad, California has been tabbed by Fastpitch News as on of the Top 50 NCAA Hitters, coming in at No. 7. The full list can found on fastpitchnews.com.
Piancastelli joins the likes of Auburn’s Kasey Cooper, who was voted as the top hitter. Texas A&M’s Tori Vidales came in second followed by Utah’s Hannah Flippen, UL-Monroe’s Rochelle Roberts, Maryssa Becker (Louisville), Tera Blanco (Michigan), Erika Piancastelli (McNeese), Vanessa Shippy (Oklahoma State), Giorgiana Zeremenko (Pittsburgh) and rounding out the Top 10 is UT-Arlington’s Sandra Mendoza.
The ranking as derived from numerous statistics to formulate a total score. The strength of schedule was also taken into account for more grueling schedules.
Piancastelli earned second team All-America honors as a sophomore and has already broken several McNeese and conference records in her two seasons with the Cowgirls. She helped McNeese win a school record 43 games, the Southland Conference regular season and tournament title as well as a berth in the NCAA Regionals in 2016.
Heading into her junior season, Piancastelli is coming off a .428 batting average with a school record 22 homeruns along with 62 hits, 49 RBI, 69 walks and a 1.000 slugging percent. Piancastelli was named the Southland’s Player and Hitter of the Year for the second year in a row.
The Cowgirls will begin their season on Feb. 9 when they host Southern Miss.