UL - The National Fastpitch Coaches Association named their 2008 All-Region Teams and three Lady Cajuns were named to the All-South Region. Seniors Holly Tankersley (Kirbyville, Texas) and Vanessa Soto (San Diego, Calif.) were both named to the first team, while freshman Ashley Brignac (River Ridge, La.) took home second team honors.

The award marks the third time in Tankersley’s career she has been named NFCA All-South Region. She earned the honor last season, as well as, in her rookie campaign back in 2004. For Soto, the accolade is her second. She earned first team honors in 2006 at Louisiana State.

Tankersley finished the 2008 regular season as the most dominant hitter in the Sun Belt Conference. She leads the Cajuns offense in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBI, triples, home runs, walks and intentional walks. Tankersley was awarded the league’s Player of the Year Award and led the Cajuns to their seventh SBC regular season title and eighth conference tournament championship.

Soto led the NCAA is sacrifice flies with seven on the year. Her seven sacrifice flies tie the transfer with former UL All-American Alana Addison (1999-02) for most in a single season in school history. Soto leads the team with 20 doubles on the year and ranks in the Cajuns’ top five in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, RBI, doubles, triples and home runs.

Brignac led the Cajuns’ pitching staff on the year. She boasted 27 wins and 286 strikeouts in 190.2 innings pitched and 37 appearances. Brignac, the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, ranks nationally in ERA (31st), strikeouts per seven innings (6th), victories (19th) and hits allowed per seven innings (9th).

The Cajuns had three players named to the list of 27 players, while the Sun Belt Conference had four players named to the All-South Region Team – the Cajuns trio and Evelyne Pare of South Alabama.

Five players were named to the list from the University of Alabama, while four each were named from Houston and Tennessee. The Cajuns were second to only Alabama for most people named to the first team. The Crimson Tide placed three players on the first team compared to two by the Cajuns.

Joining Soto and Tankersley on the first team were pitchers Angel Shamblin (Houston) and Kelsi Dunne (Alabama), catcher Chelsea Bramlett (Mississippi State), first baseman Stephanie Fischer (Tennessee Tech), shortstop Courtney Bures (Mississippi State), third baseman Tonya Callahan (Tennessee), utility-pitcher Charlotte Morgan (Alabama), utility-non pitcher Lauren Grill (Mississippi) and outfielders Brittany Rogers (Alabama) and Laurie Wagner (Houston).

Brignac is joined on the second team by pitchers Ashton Ward (Tennessee), Brooke Loudermilk (Tennessee-Chattanooga), Ragan Blake (Texas State) and Alex Gjevre (Morehead State), catcher Ashley Holcombe (Alabama), first baseman Jennifer Klinkert (Houston), second baseman Shannon Stein (Louisiana State), shortstop Jessica Valis (Houston), third baseman Kelley Montalvo (Alabama), utility-pitcher Miranda Dixon (Arkansas), utility-non pitcher Tiffany Huff (Tennessee) and outfielders Rachel Mitchell (Louisiana State), Evelyne Pare (South Alabama) and Lillian Hammond (Tennessee).


Chris Whitehead