Two former parish softball stars named All-Americans

Kyle Riviere
LSU’s Bailey Landry set a new school record for most career hits. Photo by

Bailey Landry closed out her high-school career at East Ascension by being named All-American. Four years later, she has done the same thing at LSU.

As her college career wraps up, Landry was recently named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s All-American team. This was the second time she made the team at LSU, but it was her first time making the first team.

But she wasn’t the only former Ascension Parish great that earned a spot on the squad.

Joining her was former Dutchtown stalwart Aleah Craighton. Like Landry, the UL-Lafayette redshirt junior was a first-team selection. This was the second year in a row Craighton has made the NFCA All-American squad.

She has been brilliant ever since she took over as a full-time starter for the Cajuns during her redshirt freshman season.

In all three years as a starter, Craighton has collected at least 40 RBIs and hit double-digit home runs.

For the past two seasons, she has piled up 50 RBIs.

In 2017, Craighton helped lead UL-Lafayette to a 47-8 overall record and a 23-1 mark in the Sun Belt Conference. That was a record for most victories in the conference’s history.

The Cajuns went on to win their fourth straight Sun Belt title and their 15th in the past 17 years.

They reached the Baton Rouge Regional, before being eliminated by hosting LSU.

During the superb run, Craighton hit .345, rocked 18 homers and collected 53 RBIs. In conference play, she ranked in the top five in batting average (.410), slugging percentage (1.049), on-base percentage (.593), runs (32), RBIs (31) and home runs (12).

Craighton was also first-team All-Sun Belt, and she was named the conference’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

Along with Craighton, teammate DJ Sanders made the first team.

“What a great honor, not only for DJ and Aleah, but for us,” Cajun head coach Michael Lotief said. “We are extremely proud of how they earned it: by dealing with and overcoming adversity, daring greatly and striving valiantly, being a soldier day by day and always pushing harder to improve each and every day.

“We also recognize what they both represent, besides being great athletes or hitting home runs—their compassion for others, the humility and grace with which they compete, never arrogant or seeking the spotlight and the excellence they pursue in the classroom and their faith and resolve to our Cajun values. They are truly All-Americans, and we’re grateful to this community and our university family for nurturing, loving and supporting us as we continue to chase our dreams.”

The UL-Lafayette softball program has produced multiple NFCA All-Americans for seven straight years.

As for Landry, she concluded her career at LSU by having one of her best seasons in the purple and gold and leading the Lady Tigers to the Women’s College World Series for a third straight year.

For the season, Landry hit a team-leading .402 with 35 RBIs.

In addition to almost breaking her own record for consecutive games with a hit that she set in 2015 (21), Landry set a new LSU softball record for most career hits. She also broke Ashlee Ducote’s 17-year-old record for most hits in a single season with 92.

Landry was also a first-team All-SEC selection for the first time in her career.

But though her career at LSU has come to a close, softball is still on the horizon for Landry. During the season, she was drafted fifth overall in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft by the Texas Charge organization.