Malancon signs with LSU-Eunice softball

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Ascension Catholic softball star Rae'Shaun Malancon signed with LSU-Eunice in the school gym last Thursday. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Rae’Shaun Malancon has been one of Ascension Catholic’s greatest athletes over the last four years. She was an all-district performer in both volleyball and basketball, but it was softball where she shined the brightest.

Though her stellar high-school career came to a disappointing end in the state semifinals in Sulphur a couple of weeks ago, her playing days are far from over.

Last Thursday morning, alongside her family, coaches, teammates and a packed gymnasium filled with fellow students, Malancon signed her letters of intent to continue her softball career at LSU-Eunice.

“They have a great program. I feel like I fit in great there. I fell in love with it, and the coaching staff has been great,” Malancon said.

Lady Bulldog softball head coach Brandi Manry was proud of see one of her best players get a chance to compete at the next level.

“I started coaching Rae her sophomore year, and the minute I saw her on the field, I was completely blown away by her athletic ability,” Manry said. “I also think it’s very important to know that as she sits here today signing her national letter of intent to play at the next level, that this didn’t happen by accident. Although she is blessed with incredible athletic ability, she has put in numerous hours to perfect her skills in this sport, and it has paid off.”

It’s no big coincidence that in Malancon’s four years at Ascension Catholic, the team made it to the Fast Pitch 56 all four seasons.

The Lady Bulldogs came the closest to taking home a state title back in 2014. That year, they reached the title game but lost to Cedar Creek.

This past season, Ascension Catholic won the district title and reached the state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Catholic of Point Coupee.

Malancon was consistently the Lady Bulldogs’ top power hitter in this year’s run to Sulphur.

“She makes the game look easy, but it wasn’t easy to get there, and a lot of stuff happens behind the scenes,” Manry said. “This is a culmination of all the things Rae has done to get to this point, and I think that it’s so well deserved.”

Before the success of this season, Malancon was being named first-team all-district and first-team All-State in 2015, as she hit .439 with 30 RBIs and five home runs.

Reflecting back on her time at Ascension Catholic, Malancon was happy with what she was able to accomplish both on and off of the field.

“I’m proud of all the home runs I hit and the lives that I impacted. I didn’t really realize I did until this year. It’s always good to have that kind of effect on other people,” Malancon said.

With Malancon’s signing, she will join a program that has been a common landing spot for many of Ascension Parish’s best softball players in recent years. St. Amant’s Madison Edmonston, Jordan Hartman, Jaci Lavigne, Kayla Braud, East Ascension’s Carmisha Payton and Dutchtown’s Hope Vezinat are all Lady Bengals.

Malancon said that she is anxious to join her new squad.

“I bring a lot of humor to the team. Whenever my teammates are having a bad day, I always try to make them smile. I always try to pick the team up offensively and defensively,” Malancon said.

LSU-Eunice is one of the most dominant programs in the NJCAA. They have won five national championships—including a title victory just last season. This year, they are once again headed to the World Series.

Malancon is looking forward to joining their winning tradition. She said, “It’s exciting. You have a chance to get a ring, and I always wanted one of those.”