Sanders, Landreneau lead honors

Published 12:49 pm Monday, May 6, 2024

Shaelyn Sanders made the most of her opportunity to become the ace of the McNeese State pitching staff, earning Pitcher of the Year honors the Southland Conference announced Monday.

Sanders highlighted the Cowgirls award winners after she led McNeese to its third straight SLC regular season title. After she pitched a 3-0 shutout last Friday night to beat Southeastern and clinch the title, Sanders was asked if she thought she won the honor.

“I think so,” the senior right-hander shyly answered. 

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She was right, but she was not the only McNeese winner.

James Landreneu was named the league’s Coach of the Year for the third time in his eight seasons. He has posted a 296-159 (.651) while playing a tough schedule each year.

He has a 138-37 record in Southland Conference games.

Alexis Dibbley was named the Southland’s Freshman of the Year, becoming the second Cowgirl to win that award. She joins All-American Erika Piancastelli (2015) in being honored.

Dibbley hit .326 with five homers and 20 runs batted in while playing mostly in center field. She was also 4-2 with a 3.38 earned run average as a pitcher.

Sanders posted a 19-9 record with a 1.68 ERA with three saves in 178⅔ innings, tops in the league. Her 141 strikeouts were second in the league while her wins topped the field.

Sanders is the sixth McNeese pitcher to be named the league’s best. 

Incarnate Word utility player Victoria Altamirano was named Player of the Year while Southeastern outfielder Ka’Lyn Wastson won Hitter of the Year. Lamar’s Shenita Tucker claimed the Newcomer of the Year honor.

Two other Cowgirls were named to the first team, home run champ Corine Poncho at first base and Mariana Torres at second. Poncho hit 15 homers as a sophomore while Torres rallied after a slow start and knocked in all three runs in McNeese’s title-clinching game.

Rylie Bouvier (3B), Bella Perez (C) and Crislyne Moreno (DP) took home second-team honors for McNeese. SLU had the most players honored with eight.