SPARTANBURG, S.C.-Six members of the Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team were selected to Southern Conference preseason All-Conference teams Tuesday, as announced by the league office and voted upon by the conference's coaches.
Seniors Sara Poteat (Thomaston, Ga.) and Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) along with sophomore Cheyenne Willis (Manchester, Tenn.) were named First-Team All-Conference, while junior Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz.), and sophomores Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) were named Second-Team All-Conference.
The six Lady Mocs are the most of any team in the conference, and it's the second season in a row Chattanooga led the SoCon in preseason selections.
Chattanooga was selected to finish second in the SoCon, receiving two first place votes. Georgia Southern has been named the preseason favorite, earning seven first place votes.
Appalachian State's Allie Cashion was selected as the preseason Player of the Year while Georgia Southern's Sarah Purvis has been named preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Poteat led the SoCon with a .437 batting average in 2012 while stealing a team-best 18 bases. The second baseman garnered 65 total bases and collected 62 hits, tying for fourth in the conference with former team mate Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.). Poteat started 45 games last season for the Lady Mocs. The Thomaston, Ga. native was named 2012 SoCon All-Conference First-Team.
Tydingco started 55 games at first base in 2012 for Chattanooga and finished in the top 10 in batting average at .360. The senior placed fifth with 13 homeruns, just five off the leader, and collected 17 doubles. The Fairfield, Calif. native's 33 extra-base hits was second only to team mate Vivian Morimoto's 34 extra-base hits. Tydingco was also named to the 2012 SoCon All-Conference First-Team.
Willis earned 2012 All-Conference Second-Team honors last season, tying for the league lead in runs scored (52) with Fuzzard and claimed the top spot with four triples. The Manchester, Tenn. native also finished in the top 10 in the SoCon in hits (57), runs batted in (38) and sacrifice flies (4). This is Willis' first preseason honor.
Rieck earned a spot in the lineup midway through the season and produced with a .430 batting average through 39 games. The Chandler, Ariz. native started 30 games in the outfield and maintained a .917 fielding percentage. In just 100 at-bats, Rieck collected 43 hits and 52 total bases. The outfielder scored 30 runs and posted a .520 slugging percentage. Rieck was named to the 2012 All-Conference Second-Team.
Deason receives her first preseason honor after leading the Southern Conference with 24 wins as a freshman. With the 24 wins, the Clarksville, Tenn. native tied the Chattanooga freshman record for wins with Brooke Loudermilk, last achieved in 2007. Deason maintained a 2.23 ERA and held opposing batters to a .247 batting average through 204.1 innings pitched. Her 177 strikeouts and 45 appearances were good for second in the conference, leading to an All-Conference Second-Team award.
Roberts claimed her first preseason award after batting .328 and starting 48 games in her freshman campaign. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn. native totaled 45 hits, 14 extra-base hits and drove in 22 runs. Her .399 on-base percentage and six stolen bases were best among third basemen nominated. Roberts was named to the 2012 All-Conference Second-Team.