Kaplan’s Kennedy Marceaux Named 2024 Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year

by: William Weathers // GeauxPreps.com Contributor

When she first started playing softball Kaplan’s Kennedy Marceaux admitted to being uncertain of a couple of rules and a primary tool of the game.

“When I was little, I didn’t know what was first and what was third base,” Marceaux recalled, then an aspiring 9-year-old. “I also remembered going into coaches’ pitch and finding this pink and asking my dad, ‘what do I use it for’?

Marceaux managed to find her way around the bases, thanks in part to a phenomenal bat that she swung throughout her high school career, one that ended with her being named the 2024 Louisiana Gatorade Softball Player of the Year.

“The first moment I saw her play I knew she was a special player,” Kaplan softball player Brittany LeBeouf said. “She’s a generational type of player, the kind you coach once in your career, maybe twice if you’re lucky.”

Marceaux, a four-time All-Vermilion Parish MVP and two-time Class 3A All-State selection – including the 2023 Most Outstanding Player, signed a scholarship to play at Women’s College World Series participant Alabama.

“I’m just so grateful and so blessed to be able to get this award,” Marceaux said. “It’s extremely hard to do, it’s not easy. There are wonderful athletes that are nominated and it’s a battle to win. It’s not just an award for me but every athlete at Kaplan High. Now they know that it’s possible to win it and it pushes them to be even better.”

Not only did Marceaux become the first student-athlete from Kaplan High to receive a Louisiana Gatorade award, but the first in parish history.

“She’s definitely the best softball player to ever come out of our school,” LeBouef said. “I’d put her up there and say she’s one of the best to ever come out of the state of Louisiana.”

Marceaux, who helped Kaplan to a Class 3A state championship in ’23, was again the driving force in the Lady Pirates’ third appearance in the state quarterfinals during her career.

Kaplan (26-6) fell to Jena in the quarterfinal round this past season.

The team’s lead-off batter had a robust .615 average, astounding 1.542 slugging percentage and .704 on-base percentage. She scored 65 runs, belted 21 homers with 14 doubles, six triples, drove in 56 runs and stole 25 bases.

“It’s not possible without God,” Marceaux said. “He guided me, gave me these abilities to show every little girl that no matter when you come from that it is possible. If you believe that you can do something, you truly work hard, you give all the glory to him, and he will provide for you and show you the way.

“This game is so fun,” Marceaux said. “I believe in playing hard, playing with honor and playing with love. I’m so blessed.”

LeBeouf felt a sense of comfort when Marceaux reached base.

“She was a gamer, any task you gave her, she would do,” she said. “We counted on her to get on as our lead-off hitter. When she stole second, we were scoring. She set the tempo for our team. People hated pitching to her. She’s just a special player.”

Marceaux reached the pinnacle of career in ’23 when Kaplan won its first state title in seven years. She received the first of her two Class 3A All-State selections, earning Most Outstanding Player honors for a memorable season.

“It’s probably one of the best moments, it was a fairytale,” Marceaux said of that season. “It’s so fun to play with my friends. Coach Brittany’s been like a mother figure to me and a one-of-a-coach. I’m so grateful.

“The community supports any high school support,” Marceaux said. “My career, they’ve been so loving, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. This has been the best four years of my softball career.”

Marceaux remembered covering plenty of ground on way her to Gatorade Player of the Year and college signee who will spend her career in the Southeastern Conference playing for Hall of Fame Coach Patrick Murphy.

The Stars & Stripes Fastpitch Softball club in Lake Charles, under the direction of the late Douaine Conner, provided the foundation for Marceaux who went on to flourish against increased competition.

Conner, who passed away in 2017, also provided a sense of inspiration to Marceaux.

“He was the first coach that really believed in me,” she said. “He believed that I could go farther. That’s all I needed. I hope I’ve made him proud. Without him I honestly don’t think I would be where I’m at.

“After I committed to Alabama, my dad told me coach Douaine said that when I was 10, that I was going to play college ball. After that, I was teary-eyed. He knew from a young age even when I didn’t know or believe in myself. It takes one coach. I’ve been blessed to have multiple coaches that really made a huge impact on me.”

Marceaux, who continues to play for the Conroe, Texas-based Hot Shots travel ball team, took official visits to LSU, Ole Miss and UL-Lafayette before a final trip to Alabama sealed her fate.

The Crimson Tide (39-20) made their 15th trip under Murphy to the World Series, an event Marceaux looks forward to experiencing during her college career.

“Four years ago, when I stepped foot on Kaplan’s softball field, my goal was to leave it better than I found it and I truly hope that’s what I did,” Marceaux said.