Lady Spartan great Bailey Landry has number retired

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Joined by her family, Bailey Landry is presented her retired framed No. 16 jersey by East Ascension Athletic Director Darnell Lee. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Years ago, you could see an East Ascension softball player wearing a royal blue and yellow No. 16 jersey producing hit after hit, flying through the bases on her way to score and out in the outfield, tracking down fly balls with the greatest of ease.

You’ll never see another Lady Spartan wearing that jersey again.

Before East Ascension’s district matchup with St. Amant on Thursday evening, the school held a ceremony in which they officially retired Bailey Landry’s No. 16 jersey she wore for four masterful years with the Lady Spartans.

Two people that were there to share in the great moment had to temporarily switch sides.

Her father Darrell Landry, an assistant coach on the St. Amant staff, joined Bailey. He was on the East Ascension coaching staff when she played for the Lady Spartans.

The East Ascension head coach at the time was Amy Pitre, who is now leading the Lady Gators. Pitre had nothing but great things to say about her former player on Thursday.

"She was one of the greatest athletes I ever coached, and for sure, she was the best softball player to ever come through East Ascension,” Pitre said. “Her stats are off the charts, but she didn't come in that way. She earned everything. She missed a lot of events. She sacrificed a lot of things, but all that hard work paid off. She definitely deserves this--not just because of her stats, but because I can't think of another person that loved putting on that jersey more than her."

The ceremony was something Landry will never forget.

"To be part of the East Ascension community was a special part of my life. I loved high school and everything about it,” Landry said. “So, to come back today, have my jersey retired and be among family, friends, old teammates and old coaches was really special and means a lot to me."

Landry becomes the only East Ascension softball player to ever have her number retired. It was just this past fall when she was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

Back when she was a Lady Spartan, she made just about every postseason team there was to make—including All-American.

She went on to sign with LSU, where she just recently completed one of the most accomplished careers in the program’s history.

Landry was a four-year starter there and helped lead the Lady Tigers to the Women’s College World Series three times.

She was just the fifth player in LSU history to make the All-SEC Freshmen team from the outfield. Landry went on to become a two-time All-American. In both years she earned that honor, she finished the season batting over .400.

While she was in Baton Rouge, she set three LSU records.

During her sophomore season, she set a school record for most consecutive games with a hit with 21. In her senior campaign, she set a record for most hits in a season with 92. It all led to her becoming the school’s all-time hits leader with 291.

But her softball career didn’t end at LSU. Landry went on to get selected fifth overall in the National Pro Fastpitch league’s 2017 draft.

She wasted no time adjusting to professional softball. Playing for the Texas Charge, Landry hit .348 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in her first year. She also scored 29 runs.

Those gaudy stats were enough to crown her the league’s Rookie of the Year. She was also given the Jennie Finch Award, which goes to the player who shows excellence in sportsmanship, leadership and humility both on and off of the field.

But no matter how much success she continues to have at the professional level, Ascension Parish and East Ascension High School will always hold a special place in Landry’s heart.

"EA was so fun because of all the traditions and the people here, and I think that was displayed today with how much they put into this,” Landry said. “The team playing in a big game--especially against St. Amant—makes it really emotional, because it's something that I miss. It was such a special time, and it still feels special to be a part of it."