UNCG tabbed fifth, three named Preseason All-SoCon
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNCG was picked to finish fifth in the Southern Conference by the league's nine head coaches and put a league-best three student-athletes on the preseason all-conference first team in Katelyn Bedwell, Alex Emeterio and Aisha Figueroa. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams or student-athletes in the balloting.
Chattanooga was picked to win the league, earning eight first-place votes and 64 points in the poll. College of Charleston was second with 50 points and Georgia Southern was third with 48 and picked up the remaining first-place vote. Appalachian State was selected fourth with 44 points, followed by the Spartans with 39. Elon was picked sixth with 32 points, followed by Furman (22 points), Samford (17) and Western Carolina (eight).
Bedwell, a sophomore from Surrey, British Columbia, was the first-team selection at catcher. Bedwell hit .324 as a freshman last season, leading UNCG with three triples and knocking in 21 runs. With seven doubles and a home run to her credit, she was second on the team with a .472 slugging percentage and was a SoCon All-Freshman Team selection. Bedwell committed just one error on the year, leading the Spartans with a .994 fielding percentage. She also threw out nine runners trying to steal.
Emeterio, a two-time All-SoCon selection, earned a spot on the preseason first team for the second time in as many seasons. The senior first baseman from Murrieta, Calif., hit a team-best .339 last season, also leading the squad with 58 hits, 20 walks and a .415 on-base percentage. A first-team all-region selection in 2010, Emeterio has led UNCG in batting average, hits, walks and on-base percentage in each of her three seasons at UNCG so far. Emeterio, who has started every game of her career, enters her senior season fourth in school history in career batting average (.350) and is also in the top 10 in hits, doubles, triples, RBI, slugging percentage and walks.
Figueroa earned the first-team spot at shortstop despite playing third base last season. The sophomore from Virginia Beach, Va., hit .275 and scored 29 runs last year, leading the Spartans and finishing fourth in the SoCon in stolen bases with 21 to earn all-freshman honors. Figueroa, who will shift over to shortstop this season, played for Puerto Rico's full national team at the Pan American Games in the fall of 2011, hitting a team-best .409 to finish with the fourth-best mark at the tournament. She hit safely in six of Puerto Rico's seven contests and was 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts.
UNCG's three first-team selections led the league. Appalachian State, Chattanooga and Georgia Southern had two each.
GSU's Marie Fogle was the preseason player of the year, while the Eagles' Allie Miles was the preseason pitcher of the year.
Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll
Team (First-place votes) Points
1. Chattanooga (8) 64
2. College of Charleston 50
3. Georgia Southern (1) 48
4. Appalachian State 44
5. UNCG 39
6. Elon 32
7. Furman 22
8. Samford 17
9. Western Carolina 8
Preseason Player of the Year
Marie Fogle, Outfield, Georgia Southern
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Allie Miles, Georgia Southern
Preseason First-Team All-Conference
P Stephanie Saylors, College of Charleston
P Allie Miles, Georgia Southern
C Katelyn Bedwell, UNCG
1B Alex Emeterio, UNCG
2B Sara Poteat, Chattanooga
SS Aisha Figueroa, UNCG
3B Jessie Homesley, Furman
OF Allie Cashion, Appalachian State
OF Marie Fogle, Georgia Southern
OF Tomeka Watson, Elon
DP Vivian Morimoto, Chattanooga
UT Meghan Smith, Appalachian State
Preseason Second-Team All-Conference
P Erin O'Shea, Elon
P Michelle Fuzzard, Chattanooga
C Kaitlyn Piazolla, Elon
1B Kasey Tydingco, Chattanooga
2B Hanna Ennis, Georgia Southern
SS Lizzy Vaughn, College of Charleston
3B Kelsey Hodgson, College of Charleston
OF Carly Corthell, College of Charleston
OF Carleigh Nester, Elon
OF Stephanie Field, Furman
DP Lauren Collier, Furman
UT Michelle Fuzzard, Chattanooga
- UNCG -