Rock Hill, S.C. - Brevard College placed three on the 2012 Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference softball team as announced by the conference office on Thursday morning.
Senior utility player Chelsi Mallory, sophomore outfielder Brittany Fowler and sophomore designated player Emily Boykin were all selected to the preseason Second Team to lead Brevard as the Tornados were selected 10th in the SAC preseason poll.
Defending SAC softball champion Lenoir-Rhyne is a nearly unanimous pick to win the 2012 title by the league’s coaches.
Lenoir-Rhyne went 45-10 overall and 16-2 in league play in 2011, winning both the SAC regular season and Food Lion Tournament championships. L-R received all but one of the preseason poll’s first-place votes.
The Bears also lead the way with five selections to the preseason All-SAC Team – four on the First Team and one on the Second Team.
Pitcher Dawon Millwood returns for Lenoir-Rhyne after posting 1.43 ERA and leading the SAC with an opponent batting average of .186 last season, earning the conference’s Pitcher of the Year Award. She is joined on the preseason All-SAC First Team by teammates Jessica Fellmeth at first base, Carlee Carpenter at second base and Jody Mizelle in the outfield.
Carson-Newman is second in the preseason poll and will be led by three preseason first team All-Conference selections in catcher Brianna Shoemake, outfielder Kim Whaley and 2011 SAC Player of the Year Mary Shealy, who led the league with 36 pitching wins while also hitting .299 with 12 home runs.
No. 3 in the preseason poll is Wingate, which went 31-15 overall in 2011. WU is followed in the poll by Catawba, which will be led in 2012 by preseason All-SAC First Team selection Kayla Myers at the utility position.
Tusculum is No. 5 in the preseason poll, followed by Lincoln Memorial – which received the other first-place vote – and Anderson. Tusculum and Anderson placed two student-athletes on the preseason All-SAC Team, while LMU has three spots.
Rounding out the poll is Mars Hill at No. 8, Newberry at No. 9 and Brevard at No. 10. Newberry landed one on the preseason All-SAC Team, Mars Hill had two and Brevard had three.
The 2012 softball season is scheduled to get underway on Feb. 2 with Carson-Newman taking on St. Andrews Presbyterian. The 2012 Food Lion SAC Championship will take place April 19-22 on the Tusculum campus.
2012 SAC Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Team Points (1st-place votes)
1. Lenoir-Rhyne 99 (9)
2. Carson-Newman 84
3. Wingate 77
4. Catawba 71
5. Tusculum 57
6. Lincoln Memorial 48 (1)
7. Anderson 37
8. Mars Hill 34
9. Newberry 25
10. Brevard 18
2012 SAC Softball Preseason All-Conference Team
C – Brianna Shoemake, Carson-Newman
P – Mary Shealy, Carson-Newman
P – Dawon Millwood, Lenoir-Rhyne
1B – Jessica Fellmeth, Lenoir-Rhyne
2B – Carlee Carpenter, Lenoir-Rhyne
SS – Abby Child, Anderson
3B – Natalie Haithcox, Mars Hill
OF – Brianna Mulkey, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Jody Mizelle, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF – Kim Whaley, Carson-Newman
Utility – Kayla Myers, Catawba
DP – Amber Duncan, Anderson
C – Brittany Barrineau, Wingate
P – Emily Huneycutt, Catawba
P – Elizabeth Johnson, Tusculum
1B – Allison Justice, Catawba
2B – Ashley Roof, Newberry
SS – Bridget Eicher, Lincoln Memorial
3B – Haily Jarman, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF – Ashley McCurry, Mars Hill
OF – Ashley Burke, Tusculum
OF – Brittany Fowler, Brevard
Utility – Chelsi Mallory, Brevard
DP – Emily Boykin, Brevard