Will 2019 be the season the Cowgirls capture a Regional Championship?
By Brandon Comeaux
The McNeese softball program turned heads once again in 2018. Each of the last three seasons, the Cowgirls have finished in the NCAA Regional Tournament. And, in each of those seasons, they’ve made noise doing so, especially last season when they shocked the softball world and handed national powerhouse Baylor an 11-10 opening game loss.
Unfortunately for McNeese, the Baylor Bears eventually eliminated them and ended their season. With that loss, the Cowgirl playing careers of 2-time All-American Erika Piancestelli, slugger Morgan Catron and shortstop Hailey Drew ended as well.
But, with trips to the NCAA postseason becoming an annual expectation, will 2019 be the season they break through and capture a Regional Championship?
2019 will be full of challenging contests. The Cowgirls will take on some of the best Texas has to offer – Baylor, Houston, and Texas A&M – and match up against national powerhouse Oklahoma, Sun Belt Conference standout South Alabama, and in-state rival the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. And, with many of these teams making their way to Joe Miller Field as part of 30 home games, McNeese fans will have numerous opportunities to cheer their Cowgirls on to upset victories.
It’s been quite a two years for James Landreneau. After serving four years on the McNeese coaching staff, Landreneau was promoted to head coach in 2017. That team went on to win a school-record 24 conference wins and tie the school record for regular season wins with 43. And his 2018 team didn’t disappoint, finishing with a big upset win over Baylor before bowing out in the NCAA Regionals.
With the entire pitching staff and four starters coming back for the 2019 season, the Cowgirls are not only looking to continue their success of winning Southland Conference Championships and making postseason appearances, but to break through and get to the next level.
2018 season stats:
team low 3.02 ERA
team high 92 strikeouts
The junior from Lufkin, Texas, has posted a team low ERA for both her sophomore and freshman seasons. She leads a group of sophomores – Caroline Settle, Amber Coons, and Ashley Koncir – who will look to help Flores when she needs a break, as well as provide quality pitching throughout the season.
2018 season stats:
.417 Batting Average
61 Runs Scored
27 Stolen Bases
The senior outfielder from Phoenix, Arizona, is a valuable returnee for the Cowgirls. A two-time All-Southland Conference and All-Region selection, McClain leads a potent hitting attack that features junior sluggers Brenique Wright and Alexandria Saldivar.
To follow the Cowgirls online check out mcneesesports.com.
KNOWING THE FIGHT SONG
McNeese’s fight song “Joli Blon” was heard at McNeese football games since 1951. But it was not made the official alma mater until 1970.
Kenneth L Gaburo composed McNeese’s alma mater in 1950.
We hail our Alma Mater,
with hearts full of gratitude;
Where knowledge dwells with friendship,
and all that is right and true.
Our mem’ries here will linger,
with faith in all you do;
McNeese, McNeese, may glory reign here, too–
All Hail! All Hail! McNeese, we are proud of you.