The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced Team Italy and Louisiana’s McNesse State Junior utility player (C/3B) Erika Piancastelli has been named to the 2017 NFCA South All-Region Second Team. It is her third appearance on the team as she was named to the second team in 2015 and the first team in 2016. Piancastelli now becomes eligible to be selected to the 2017 NFCA Division I All-American squads, which will be announced on May 31 via NFCA.org. She became McNesse State’s first NFCA All-American (third team) in 2015. Erika once again received NFCA All-American accolades (second team) in 2016.
Erika moved with her family from Italy to America when she was five-years-old. Piancastelli was born with the love for the game in her DNA. Her mother, Loredana Auletta, played for Team Italy in the 2000 Olympics and her father, Pier, played in his hometown of Modena in the Italian Baseball League. Like her mother did nearly two decades ago, Erika hopes to represent Italy in the Olympics in 2020. “I always wanted to be like my mom,” said Piancastelli. “Every year she wants to be like her, but even better. That drives me to keep getting better every single day.”
Erika is a six-year Team Italy veteran and is the most decorated player in McNesse State’s 38-year softball history. In 2017 the three-time Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year broke three career records---including the McNeese State and Southland Conference walks record (166) as well as the McNeese State career RBI record (152). She shattered the school’s career home run record as a sophomore and currently top the career homer charts with 53 bombs, giving her four total career records at McNesse State.
Piancastelli helped the 2017 McNesse State Cowgirls reach the NCAA softball regional for the first time with her 13 home runs, 49 RBI, 63 walks (ranked second nationally), .681 slugging percentage and .554 on base percentage. She was second on the team with a .380 batting average, 60 hits and 26 stolen bases. With three years of collegiate play under her belt, Erika enjoys a .413 career batting average at McNeese State. She now rejoins Team Italy to prepare for the 12th Annual WBSC U19 Junior Women’s Softball Championship at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Florida from July 24-30, 2017.
by Roberto Angotti