Lake Land All-American outfielder Frankie Izard bypassed a chance to play at Eastern Illinois in order to compete for one of the nation’s strongest softball programs – Louisiana-Lafayette.
She also chose father over daughter. Lafayette coach Gerry Glasco is the father of Tara Archibald, whose EIU squad was Izard’s second choice.
“This was a big signing,” Lake Land softball coach Nic Nelson said. “Lafayette is a powerhouse.”
Izard’s commitment to the Ragin’ Cajuns likely won’t be finalized for a few more days because of delays related to the pandemic. Lafayette (18-6 2-1 in the Sun Belt) finished this season ranked No. 8 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, the 11th time it has finished in the top 10 in program history. The program has finished in the top 25 all but three times since 1990.
Lafayette has also been ranked in the top 25 polls for 106 consecutive weeks, dating back to April 2013. This past season, the Cajuns defeated several ranked teams, including Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Texas and twice over Florida.
Izard finished her abbreviated two-year career with school records for batting average (.510) and on-base percentage (.551), along with 76 RBIs.
Izard also stole 42 bases and has 12 triples, finishing fourth in that category in 2019. That speed was a primary reason several teams across the country sought the St. Joseph native.
“The hardest thing to find in JUCO is speed,” Nelson said. “Speed gets recruited first. Not only does she have speed, but she has the power to knock the ball over outfielders who try to play in on her. Speed never goes in a slump.”
Izard was the Region 24 Player of the Year and an NJCAA Division I NFCA All-American in 2019 during a season in which she led the nation in at-bats and hits and ranked ninth for batting average at .514 – in addition to posting an astounding OPS of 1.213.
“If we could have been able to finish the season,” Nelson said, “Frankie would have set a few more school records.”
Izard finished the shortened 2020 season hitting .468, with 27 hits, eight stolen bases, 23 runs batted in – as well as an on-base percentage of .558 and slugging average of .620 for an 1.178 OPS.
Nelson said he’ll miss more than Izard’s stats: “I was always impressed how competitive she is. Once she steps on the field, watch out. She’s also like another coach in the dugout.”
IZARD CAREER STATS
AWARDS & HONORS
Starting member 2019 NJCAA Region 24 Champions team
NJCAA D1 NFCA All-American
NJCAA D1 NFCA All-American
NJCAA Region 24 Player of the Year
NJCAA All-Region Tournament Team
NFCA All-Midwest Region 1st team
All-Conference 1st team
NJCAA Academic All-American