Many of the state’s top softball seniors will converge on Louisiana College this weekend for the annual Louisiana High School Coaches Association softball all-star weekend.
The annual “doubleheader” will feature a single game at 6 p.m. today at LC’s Coca-Cola Lady Wildcat Field followed by a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday.
Nine Central Louisiana standouts — including a pair of Buckeye teammates — are among the 36 players who will participate in the two-day event. In addition, coaches from Buckeye and Jena comprise two-thirds of the East Squad’s coaching staff.
“This is very rewarding for the girls to be able to go,” said Buckeye coach Darlene Wiley, who is serving as the coordinator for the East Squad for the second time. “There’s no pressure on them. They get to go play with girls at their level.”
Wiley will be joined by the coach of her team’s main district rival, Jena’s Felicia Hailey, who will serve as the head coach on the East Squad. Hailey was slated to be an assistant to Riverside’s Kristy Hebert, but Hebert had to pull out because of personal reasons.
In addition, two of Wiley’s stars are among the 18 players on the East squad — pitcher and Northwestern State signee Mikayla Brown and first baseman Paris Hernandez.
“It’s very, very special,” Wiley said of having two of her players with her at the all-star game. “… I felt like the girls earned it, and the stats speak for themselves.”
Hailey’s star pitcher, Louisiana College commitment Darian Thacker, is also on the East squad along with Menard first baseman Rylee Ferguson and Georgetown pitcher Tanner Maxwell.
Ferguson said she will spend the weekend rooming with Thacker, Brown and Hernandez, three players she has played with and against since she was really young.
“I was really excited about it,” Ferguson said of hearing she earned an all-star invitation, “because all the past four years I’ve seen all the seniors play. I was really wondering if I was gonna be able to make the all-star team. Now that I made it, it’s really cool.”
The West Squad features five Cenla standouts: Anacoco’s Tristan Harvey, Leesville’s Karsen Kreps, Many’s Laken Ebarb, Natchitoches Central’s Savannah Settle and Pine Prairie’s Alyssa Jackson.
Among the other standouts who will play this weekend are:
* East — LSU signees Taylor Lockwood of Walker and Sydney Bourge of Northshore, Memphis signees and John Curtis teammates Katie Brignac and Brooke Lee, and Louisiana-Lafayette signee Allie Medlin of West Ouachita.
* West — Louisiana-Lafayette signee Jaime Landry of St. Thomas More, Louisiana Tech signees Kassidy Harris of North Caddo and Katie Smith of Airline, and Louisiana-Monroe signee Carlie Comeaux of Brusly.