Notre Dame's Simon signs with LSU-Eunice
CROWLEY – Notre Dame’s Taylor Simon has been on the radar screen of LSU-Eunice softball coach Andy Lee for three years.
Lee, who took over the Lady Bengals in July of 2008, saw Simon play as a sophomore and knew right away that Simon would eventually make a great addition to his program.
Wednesday morning, his thoughts came to fruition when Simon signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Lee at LSUE beginning in the fall.
“The first high school ballgame I ever went to watch (down here), I went to Notre Dame and watched her play and she was the first kid that I saw that I was really impressed with,” said Lee. “I just followed her throughout the years and I really love her hand speed. She has great bat speed. And her range at shortstop.. She has lateral speed and that is very special.”
Her versatility doesn’t hurt either.
“With speed like she has, she can play anywhere,” said Lee. “I’m bringing in a lot of girls next year who will be called upon to play different positions than they did in high school. I know Taylor is one of the kids that can accept that role and adjust to it quickly. ”
Simon, who was also courted by a number of other schools including NCAA Division III powerhouse Louisiana College, has no problem with any position changes that might be in her future.
“I’m a little nervous, but I’m also excited about it,” said Simon of signing with LSUE. “It doesn’t matter where I play, I’ll play anywhere the team needs me to play.”
Notre Dame coach Lauren Delahoussaye, who coached Simon and the Lady Pios to the Class AAA state title last year, is also excited about the signing.
“I’m so happy for her,” said Simon. “Anytime a young lady goes beyond high school to play, it’s a great accomplishment and I’m very proud of her.”
Simon’s abilities have been on display at Notre Dame ever since she was a freshman when she made the All-District second team. During her sophomore and junior seasons, she was a unanimous first-team selection at shortstop, hitting well over .400 both seasons.
“Taylor has come through in some very clutch situations for us last year and that’s exactly what I expect of her this year,” said Delahoussaye. “She makes the routine plays, but she also pulls those great plays that great athletes make.
“She’s always been a hard worker and a leader and that’s what’s expected of her heading into this season. I think she will have an awesome year. It’s still just projections, but she’s the type that will step up to the challenge and have a great year.”
Simon is a four-sport athlete at Notre Dame. Besides softball, she was an outside hitter on the 2010 state championship volleyball team and the starting point guard on the Lady Pios' basketball team. She has also run on the relay teams in track.
Simon will also be joined in LSUE’s signing class by Rayne High standout’s Mariel Meche and Kelsey Hollier.
“I think it will be fun,” said Simon. “I’ve played with Mariel and Kelsey when I was young and I think we will have a good time.”
Meche and Hollier helped lead the Lady Wolves to a second-place finish in District 5-AAA last season and a berth in the Class AAA semifinals.
Meche finished the season with a record of 24-6 with an earned run average of below 2.00. She was also named the District 5-AAA MVP and was named to the Class AAA All-State team.
“Mariel is a very hard-throwing kid that has improved every year with her off-speed and breaking pitches,” said Lee. “She’s also a very hardworking kid and she can also swing the bat with some power.”
Hollier, a shortstop that hit .458 as a junior, was tabbed to last year’s All-State team as an honorable mention.
“Kelsey is another raw, great talent,” said Lee. “She’s probably one of the best hitters I’ve seen and probably the best hitter of my signing class. She can hit for power, hit for average and is a great base runner. I have a feeling she’s going to do a lot of great things at LSUE.”