SOFTBALL: Gibson, Nichols represent SLU on All-Southland teams

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon

HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana junior first baseman Mahalia Gibson and junior outfielder Kinsey Nichols were recognized as members of the 2017 All-Southland Conference Softball Teams, which were announced on Monday by the league office.

Gibson, a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Nichols, who hails from Alvin, Texas, were both named to the second team. Gibson, in her first season out of East Central (Miss.) Community College, was also named Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year.

Gibson is the first Lady Lion to earn Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year honors. Former SLU standouts Arica Rodriguez (2007), Summer Delauneville (2004), Voncia Bookman (1992) and Patti Pender (1990) were Louisiana Newcomers of the Year, but Gibson is the first to be recognized by the Southland Conference.

Gibson led Southeastern with 52 hits, 10 doubles, five triples and 36 RBI to go with a .317 batting average, three home runs and 22 runs scored. In conference play, she hit .347 with four doubles, four triples, three home runs and 20 RBI. She ranked among the league leaders in batting average (15th), slugging percentage (.494, 11th), hits (10th), RBI (6th), doubles (9th) and triples (3rd).

Nichols was named to the all-conference team for the third straight season, as she was a third-team choice as a freshman and an honorable mention selection in 2016. The Alvin High School alum led the team with a .393 batting average, to go with 31 runs, 44 hits, six doubles, one triple and 23 RBI. Nichols was on the Southland leaderboard in batting average (4th), on-base percentage (.489, 3rd), runs (15th) and stolen bases (15, 7th).

For the third straight season, McNeese’s Erika Piancastelli was named both the Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year. Her teammate, Rachel Smith, earned Pitcher of the Year honors, while McNeese head coach James Landreneau was tabbed Coach of the Year.
Gibson and Abilene Christian pitcher Sidney Holman (Freshman of the Year) prevented the regular season Cowgirls from making it a clean sweep of the individual awards. The All-Southland Conference teams were selected by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voters were not permitted to vote for student-athletes from their own institution.

Gibson and Nichols will be back for their senior seasons in 2018, as the Lady Lions will return all of their starters and add a large contingent of 11 talented newcomers to form the deepest SLU roster in recent memory.

2017 All-Southland Conference Softball Teams

Player of the Year: Erika Piancastelli, McNeese
Hitter of the Year: Erika Piancastelli, McNeese
Pitcher of the Year: Rachel Smith, McNeese
Freshman of the Year: Sidney Holman, Abilene Christian
Newcomer of the Year: Mahalia Gibson, Southeastern Louisiana
Coach of the Year: James Landreneau, McNeese

First Team
Pos. – Name – School – Class – Hometown
1B – Kasey Frederick – Nicholls – So. – Bridge City, Texas
2B – Holly Neese – Abilene Christian – Jr. – Plano, Texas
3B – Tori Koerselman – Sam Houston State – Sr. – Huntsville, Texas
SS – Peyton Hedrick – Abilene Christian – Jr. – Forney, Texas
C – Bryn Baca – Lamar – Sr. – Round Rock, Texas
UT – Erika Piancastelli, McNeese – Jr. – Carlsbad, Calif.
DP – Alexandria Saldivar – McNeese – Fr. – Princeton, Texas
OF – Justyce McClain – McNeese – So. – Phoenix, Ariz.
OF – Taylor Brown – Abilene Christian – Sr. – Richland Hills, Texas
OF – Brittany Rodriguez – Lamar – Jr. – Cypress, Texas
P – Rachel Smith – McNeese – Sr. – Baytown, Texas
P – Sidney Holman – Abilene Christian – Fr. – Belton, Texas

Second Team
Pos. – Name – School – Class – Hometown
1B – Mahalia Gibson – Southeastern Louisiana – Jr. – Hattiesburg, Miss.
2B – Brooke Morris – Nicholls – Sr. – Denham Springs, La.
3B – Casey-May Huff – Abilene Christian – Sr. – Calgary, Alberta
SS – Amanda Gianelloni – Nicholls – So. – Napoleonville, La.
C – Amber Landry – Stephen F. Austin – Jr. – Ponchatoula, La.
UT – Sable Hankins – Lamar – Jr. – Moore, Okla.
DP – Jessica Taylor – Nicholls – Sr. – Colleyville, Texas
OF – Kinsey Nichols – Southeastern Louisiana – Jr. – Alvin, Texas
OF – Samantha Mracich – Nicholls – Fr. – Metairie, La.
OF – Briana Whisenhunt – Central Arkansas – Sr. – Crandall, Texas
P – Kayla Gomness – Central Arkansas – Sr. – Lemoore, Calif.
P – Ciara Luna – Lamar – Sr. – Seguin, Texas

Third Team
Pos. – Name – School – Class – Hometown
1B – Brianna Barnhill – Abilene Christian – Jr. – Rhome, Texas
2B – Kelly Meeuwsen – Lamar – So. – Hillsboro, Ore.
3B – Jordan Rains – Northwestern State – Sr. – Houston, Texas
SS – Hailey Drew – McNeese – Jr. – Fallbrook, Calif.
C – Christy Trevino – UIW – Sr. – San Antonio, Texas
UT – Mikaela Flores – UIW – Sr. – Lockhart, Texas
DP – Cylla Hill – Central Arkansas – Fr. – Henryetta, Okla.
OF – Kellye Kincannon – Northwestern State – Sr. – Lake Jackson, Texas
OF – Ashley McDowell – Lamar – Sr. – Plano, Texas
OF – Danielle Ramirez – UIW – Sr. – San Antonio, Texas
P – Liz Carter – A&M-Corpus Christi – Sr. – Austin, Texas
P – Megan Landry – Nicholls – So. – Pierre Part, La.

Honorable Mention: Catcher: Kaleigh Singleton, Abilene Christian. First Base: Alex Alonzo, UIW. Second Base: Carleigh Chaumont, McNeese. Third Base: Kassie James, Houston Baptist. Shortstop: Tiffany Thompson, Sam Houston State. Designated Player: Hannah Marino, Sam Houston State. Utility Player: Sydney Bourg, Nicholls. Outfield: Braegan Hamilton, Abilene Christian; Taylor Schmidt, McNeese; Corina Thornton, Lamar. Pitcher: Lindsey McLeod, Sam Houston State.

  • < PREV

    Kathryn Sloan named Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar

  • NEXT >

    Generals sign Jacksonville College teammates to women's hoops squad

Kemmler Chapple

Kemmler Chapple

Sports Information Director, Southeastern Louisiana University Athletics

Read more >