Believe the hype
In my first year as the sports editor here at the Weekly Citizen, I had the privilege of covering Bailey Landry at East Ascension.
I was there to photograph and interview her as she signed her letters of intent to play at LSU. I was there to watch her prove to be head and shoulders above all other competition as she led the Lady Spartans in her senior season.
She was a near impossible out. If she wasn’t getting a hit, she was being patient and getting awarded a free pass, and once on base, her speed made her virtually impossible to throw out on a steal attempt.
It was easy to see that she was a special talent. I knew she would go on to have a successful career at LSU, but still, I didn’t quite imagine she would achieve the kind of greatness she did.
Landry’s collegiate career came to an end last week as the Lady Tigers were eliminated from the Women’s College World Series after back-to-back losses to Florida and Oregon.
Though it might have ended without a national championship, Landry has nothing to hang her head over. She leaves a lasting legacy at LSU that will paint her as one of the greatest players the program has ever seen.
Just this postseason, she was able to set two new LSU school records.
First, she became the program’s all-time hits leader as she chalked up her 291st career hit. In the World Series, she went on to break Ashlee Ducote’s record for most hits in a single season with 92. Ducote’s record of 91 stood for 17 years.
Another school record that bears Landry’s name is a mark she set during her sophomore campaign. Landry came up with a hit in 21 straight games. That shattered the old mark of 16.
Landry was no one-year wonder. The reason her career at LSU proved to be so special was because of the amazing consistency she exhibited throughout her four years there.
She stepped in as a true freshman and worked her way into the starting lineup of a team that had just made it to the World Series during the previous year.
She quickly proved why she was an All-American at East Ascension as she started 45 games and became just the fifth Lady Tiger in program history to make the All-SEC Freshman team from the outfield.
Landry hit .368 that year. This was just a sneak preview of what the next three years would hold for the Lady Spartan alum.
That freshman campaign proved to be a springboard for what would become one of the most impressive single singles in LSU history.
Landry’s sophomore year was a near masterpiece and still remains her greatest season as a Lady Tiger.
The highlight was her historic 21-game hitting streak, but she accomplished so much more.
Landry finished the season with 25 multi-hit games and 89 total hits—which ended up being just two short of the record.
She finished the year with a robust batting average of .426. Not only did this lead the team, but it also fell just short of the school record of .431.
LSU returned to the World Series that year, and Landry led the team with a .357 batting average.
As a result, she was named All-SEC and NFCA All-American.
Landry could not match the potency of her sophomore season the next year, but she still ended up hitting .324—which was good enough to rank her fourth on the team.
Most importantly, she helped lead the Lady Tigers to a second straight World Series appearance that ended with them reaching the semifinals.
This year, she was back on the kind of torrid pace we saw when she was a sophomore.
She finished the year leading the team with a .402 batting average that included a stretch of 20 straight games with a hit.
In setting two new school records, she helped lead the Lady Tigers to a third straight World Series appearance and was named first-team All-SEC and All-American.
That’s quite the résumé.
Not only does it cement her place amongst the best to ever play at LSU, but it firmly establishes her as one of the greatest athletes Ascension Parish has ever produced.