BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After a breakout freshman season that saw her lead the team in batting average in conference play and hit the most home runs for any first-year Tiger in program history, LSU’s Sahvanna Jaquish headlined a quartet of Tigers that were named All-SEC today, earning first team honors while A.J. Andrews was named to the second team, with Jaquish joining fellow freshmen Baylee Corbello and Bailey Landry on the SEC’s All-Freshman team the league announced today.
Jaquish is the second-consecutive LSU player to earn first team honors, as the Highland, California, native is only the second Tiger in program history to earn the spot at designated player/utility as the last was by Stephanie Hastings back in 1998, and is only the sixth freshman in team history to be named first team.
Adding to her already illustrious career accolades, junior outfielder A.J. Andrews can now add second team All-SEC honors to her first team selection from last year and SEC All-Freshman team honors from the 2012 season.
Since 2010, LSU has had at least one player named to the all-freshman team, but only can the 2014 class lay claim to the distinction of having the most players chosen for the squad in program history with three in Corbello, Landry and Jaquish, with Corbello being the first pitcher since Rachele Fico in 2010 to make the team, while Landry is the fifth outfielder and Jaquish being the first utility pick.
“It’s a nice honor to have our players recognized in such a prestigious conference, and it’s great to see the other coaches of this league respect the type of quality players we have at LSU,” head softball coach Beth Torina said.
Playing in all but two games in her first season, and 23 of a possible 24 in league play, Jaquish has pieced together one of strongest freshmen resumes in program history, as she is currently second to Andrews in overall batting average at .331, while in league games she finished the regular season hitting .386 which was tied for sixth best in the conference. In the league she finished in the top ten in multiple categories, including seventh in total bases (54), seventh in slugging percentage (.771), tied for tenth in total hits (27), and tied for seventh in home runs (7).
With 13 total home runs, Jaquish is now tied for second all-time in single-season home runs, the most by any Tiger in their first season in Baton Rouge. She leads the team with 46 RBI and is second with 52 total hits, while tied for second on the team with 22 hits for extra-bases. One of her best games of the season came against South Carolina, where earned an individual game and program-best tying five hits against the Gamecocks, while earning multiple two home run games this season.
“I’m just so excited about the future of this program with a player like Sahvanna in it,” Torina said. “I’m excited about the year she’s been able to have, and I know it’s far from over. I think she’s going to continue to do big things for us the rest of this season. She’s been a mainstay in this offense, and has helped raise the level of competition on this team.”
Since March 7, Andrews has been the benchmark for hitting for the club, as her average soared as high as .420 which was second best for any player on the team this season. One of just three players to start all 55 games for the Tigers this season in centerfield, the Oldsmar, Florida, native leads the team in batting average at .343, hits with 62, and stolen bases with 35 on 36 attempts. Her five triples are tenth in the country and lead the SEC, as she is second only to Missouri’s Taylor Gadbois in swiped bags and attempts, while she is the only player this season to steal three in a single game during conference play, with two games of at least six at-bats.
“I’m really happy to see A.J. make All-SEC two years in a row, mainly because she has been able to produce consistently over the last two seasons and even back to her freshman year,” Torina said. “She has been something really special for this program. She is our motivator, and will continue to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the league and in our game today.”
A finalist for the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award and first SEC Freshman of the Week honoree, Lake Charles’ Corbello is one of four pitchers who made the cut for the all-freshman team, as she is currently on a five-start winning streak heading into the conference tournament this week in Columbia, South Carolina. With a team-leading 17 wins in 167.0 innings pitched, Corbello is having one of the strongest freshman seasons for a pitcher in team history as she has 20 complete games which is tied for the most along with Sarah KnifeChief, and second only to Britni Sneed in total strikeouts with 167 on the season, which is also tied for fourth in the SEC. In league games, she had the fourth lowest opposing batting average at .232 and was fourth in batters struck out looking with 21.
“She did a great job as a freshman, coming in and competing in the toughest conference in the country and was able to go against the best and thrive,” Torina said. “She kept us in a lot of games this year, and continued to grow as the season went on giving us great performances all season.”
In her first season in the outfield, Landry has pieced together a strong season as she is averaging .333 at the plate with 31 hits and 10 RBI in 42 games played and 28 games started. In conference games, she has been even better as she has a .341 average in 19 games, with 14 hits, a fielding percentage of 1.000 and four sacrifice hits which is tied for fourth. She has eight multi-hit outings and three multi-RBI games this year, going on a six-game hitting streak and was the second longest for a first-year Tiger this season.
“Bailey had a great year offensively, and I think she is a player that is going to make a lot of noise for us in the next three years,” Torina said. “She did a lot of great things for us at the plate, and I know she is only going to grow and get better going forward in her career.”
LSU opens the 2014 SEC Softball Tournament hosted by the University of South Carolina at the Carolina Softball Stadium on Thursday at 10 a.m. as the sixth seed and will take on third-seeded Missouri. Every game of the tournament will be broadcast on ESPNU, with audio of every game on the radio home of LSU softball on ESPN 104.5 and 104.9 FM as well as in the Geaux Zone.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.