UNCG softball picked eight in Southern Conference preseason poll
SPARTANBURG, SC – The UNC Greensboro softball team was picked to finish eight in the preseason Southern Conference softball poll as voted on by the leagues eight head coaches. In addition, Leslie Furness, Mary Greenway and Brittany Ausley earned Preseason All-Southern Conference first team honors, marking the first time the Spartans have place three players on the preseason first team.
Chattanooga was tabbed to win the league, after winning its ninth Southern Conference regular-season title last year.
The Lady Mocs, under the direction of seventh-year head coach Frank Reed, received six of a possible eight first place votes for a total of 48 points. College of Charleston and Georgia Southern tied for second place in the balloting with 38 points apiece. The Cougars also garnered one first-place vote. The Cougars finished in second place during the regular season a year ago while the Lady Eagles were the tournament runner-ups.
Elon received 23 points and placed fourth, while defending tournament champions Furman earned 21 points and one first-place vote to grab the fifth spot. Western Carolina (20), Appalachian State (19) and UNC Greensboro (17) rounded out the poll.
Chattanooga, Elon and Western Carolina each had four players selected to the all-conference teams while Appalachian State, College of Charleston, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro each had three players earn pre-season All-SoCon honors. Furman placed two players on the pre-season squad.
Greenway, a Roanoke, VA, native, is the lone senior for third year head coach Jennifer Herzig. The outfielder had a record-breaking season last year and saw action in 63 games, starting 58 at the outfield position. She set a new single-season record for stolen bases with 41 on the year while leading the team with a .303 batting average.
Furness, has been a staple for the Spartans behind the plate and in 56 games last season tallied a .265 batting average and had a team-high six home runs. The Greenville, NC native, also recorded an impressive .990 fielding percentage.
Ausley, had a stellar freshman campaign for the Spartans a season ago. She was one of three players to start every game and the only freshman to play every inning. Ausley recorded 29 runs on 53 hits with nine double, three triples and six home runs. She also led the team in RBI with 32 and in slugging percentage (.415). The Wake Forest, NC native was tied for fifth on UNCG’s single-season triple list with three triples and her 207 at bats ranks fourth on UNCG’s single-season list.
UNCG opens the 2008 campaign on Friday when they take on Southern Illinois in the first game of the Jacksonville University/Best Western Invitational. UNCG opens the home campaign with the UNCG Spartan Classic Feb 15-17.The Spartans will welcome Cleveland State, James Madison, Niagara, Maryland-Baltimore County and Central Michigan.
1. Chattanooga (6) 48
2T. College of Charleston (1) 38
2T. Georgia Southern 38
4. Elon 23
5. Furman (1) 21
6. Western Carolina 20
7. Appalachian State 19
8. UNC Greensboro 17
Preseason All-Conference Teams
P Brooke Loudermilk, Chattanooga
P Terri Mesko, College of Charleston
C Jaimie Rao, Elon
C Leslie Furness, UNC Greensboro
1B Lauren Ross, Western Carolina
2B Amber Shifflett, College of Charleston
SS Tracey Dahlen, Elon
3B Abby Robertson, Furman
OF Laci Upchurch, Chattanooga
OF Lindsey Hopkins, Georgia Southern
OF Brittany Ausley, UNC Greensboro
OF Mary Greenway, UNC Greensboro
DP Shannon Howard, College of Charleston
UT Debbie Ziegler, Elon
P Lana Mackey, Furman
P Lauren Ross, Western Carolina
C Jenny Side, Georgia Southern
1B Samantha Russo, Georgia Southern
2B Brittany Gaston, Appalachian State
SS Tia Blosser, Chattanooga
3B Stephanie Beatty, Western Carolina
OF Ashley Gaston, Appalachian State
OF Natalie Willis, Appalachian State
OF Brandi Jones, Elon
DP Mollie Fowler, Western Carolina
UT Tara Tembey, Chattanooga
- UNCG -