Malcolm Butler, Louisiana Tech Associate Athletic Director/Communications
RUSTON — Former Airline star and current assistant coach Katie Smith has been selected to the Louisiana Tech all-decade softball team voted on by fans.
More than 1,400 ballots were cast.
Despite never being named all-league, voters knew the value of Smith, a four-year starter at shortstop from 2015-18 and three-year team captain during her career.
She made a name for herself with her smooth fielding ability, recording more than 750 outs from the shortstop positon in her career.
At the plate, Smith ended her career with 90 runs, 85 RBI and 49 stolen bases, including 30 her senior season when she was caught stealing just one time in 31 attempts.
Smith received 789 votes (55.4 percent$.
With the recent success that the Lady Techsters program has had it is no surprise that the all-decade team is loaded with players from the past five years.
Prior to a virus-shortened 2020 season, Tech had recorded five straight years of 30-plus wins, including three Conference USA championships and a pair of trips to the NCAA Regional.
Fans recognized the recent success and rewarded many of the student-athletes who played a huge role in it.
Along with Smith, pitcher Krystal De La Cruz (1,000 votes/70.2 percent), outfielder Morgan Turkoly (994/69.8%), outfielder Jazlyn Crowder (991/69.6%), catcher Marilyn Rizzato (899/63.1%), utility Anna Cross (895/62.9%), utility Pauline Tufi (851/59.8%), outfielder Kristen Miles (769/54.0%), pitcher Preslee Gallaway (704/49.4%) and utility Kimmie Atienza (659/46.3%) all earned a spot on the team comprised of players who starred on the diamond in a Lady Techster uniform between 2011 and 2020.