By T. Scott Boatright
She earned All-State honors as a catcher for the Choudrant High School softball team as well as All-Louisiana basketball player for the Lady Aggies.
But Olivia Hennen had even bigger things in store for her future.
Now Hennen, who has played softball the past two seasons for LSU-Eunice, has been awarded the highest honor for her position as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) awarded her as both a first-team All-American and Diamond Sports National Catcher of the Year, it was announced on Friday.
Hennen was a unanimous choice for the All-American squad, one of eight unanimous selections for the first team.
“Olivia was the heart and soul of our team this year and did everything we asked of her both on and off the field,” said LSU Eunice head coach Meghan Collins. “She put in a great deal of hard work in the offseason and I could not be more proud of her for being rewarded with these accolades.”
Hennen is the first LSU-Eunice catcher to receive first-team All-American honors and is the first All-American catcher for the Bengals since Rhea Person (third-team) in 2009.
“It’s such an honor,” Hennen said. “I’m just thankful for all of my coaches, and for my family and friends who supported me to get there. It’s awesome.”
But now Hennen is headed to even bigger things again, but this time it won’t involve softball.
Despite having an offer to continue her college softball career at Southeastern Louisiana University, Hennen has decided to continue working on her nursing education after earning her Associate’s degree in General Studies from LSU-E, graduating with a 3.59 GPA.
“That was a really tough decision,” Hennen said. “I truly love playing softball. And if I was going anything other than nursing I would keep playing. But I just feel right now that the right thing to do is hang up my cleats and continue on with my education.”
And she’ll stay close to home to do that.
“I’m going to Louisiana Tech,” Hennen said. “I just got accepted into the nursing program there.”
She’ll hang up her cleats after playing a major role for LSU-E this past season. Hennen led the Bengals in six different offensive categories, including a .426 batting average.
Hennen ranked 13th nationally and sixth all-time in a single season at LSUE with 38 stolen bases on 40 attempts while adding 49 RBIs, 60 runs scored, 11 doubles and 11 home runs to her stat line.
Her 37 walks ranked second in the country this past season.
Hennen was also named an All-Region 23 selection by the NJCAA and a South Region first-team selection by the NFCA.