ATLANTA (February 2, 2018) – The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) has announced its 2018 Softball Preseason team as voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Albany State led all teams with six selections followed by Claflin, Clark Atlanta, Benedict and Kentucky State tied at three. Infielders Brianna Murillo, Jala Stewart, Aryn McGowan, and Lavette Tucker, and outfielders Jade Williams and Keyanna Dawson all of Albany State each earned spots on the preseason team. Murillo, appeared in 37 games last season and hit .408. with 40 hits and 27 runs and eight home runs. Stewart hit .434 and finished second in the conference with 13 doubles. Starting pitcher, McGowan, finished the season with a 2.63 ERA. Tucker recorded a batting average of .344 while adding 18 RBIs. Williams finished her 2017 campaign hitting .323 which included 41 hits and 44 runs putting her fourth in the conference. Dawson hit .296 for the Lady Golden Rams while adding 15 runs and 16 hits.
Starting pitcher, Norman, led Claflin Lady Panthers last season as she recorded a 2.46 ERA in her 30 appearances while leading the conference in strikeouts as she managed 11.47 strikeouts per game. Outfielders Chelise Morman and LaKaylin Lee both averaged above a .300 batting average and had a combined 14 home runs on the season.
Infielders Tatiana Kelly, Sharnitra Woods, and Chase Gray-Still earned their spots on the 2018 Preseason Team. Shortstop, Kelly, led the Lady Panthers with 52 hits while hitting .388. Woods maintained a batting average of .443 while leading the Lady Panthers in RBIs (45) and home runs (11). Gray-Still led the Panthers in triples (2) as she finished her 2017 campaign hitting .316.
Third baseman Sharik Woods along with outfielder Brianna Bille and utility Erica Dargan led Benedict’s selections on this year’s team. Woods led the Lady Tigers in doubles (12) and walks with 19 on the season. Billie finished the 2017 season recording a batting average of .404 and leading the Lady Tigers in runs scored (58), hits (65), stolen bases (35). Dargan finished the Lady Tigers selection as she recorded a .421 batting average and was ranked in the conference with runs scored (43) and stolen bases as she finished 24 of the 25 attempts averaging .92 stolen bases per game. Dargan also led the Lady Tigers in home runs (6).
Kentucky State had three representatives for this years’ preseason team. Shortstop, Jittaun Thompson, led the Lady Thorobred as she hit .393 for the season and dominated in hits (42), runs (34), and home runs (3). Outfielder, Alysha Sakamura, hit .292 which included 26 hits followed by 33 runs. The Lady Thorobreds relief pitcher, Kaija Aikman, rounded out Kentucky State’s selection as she finished the season with a 4.72 ERA.
Miles second baseman Davis Watkins and utility Kendruena McPherson were major catalyst for the Lady Golden Bears last year. Watkins was a top offensive player for the Lady Golden Bears as she hit .346 which includes her 36 hits. McPherson was ranked in the conference as she recorded a 5.02 ERA while managing 53 hits and 32 runs on the season.
Baylie Doiron of Spring Hill rounded out the first in the relief pitcher position. Doiron was ranked fourth in the conference with a 2.52 ERA on 14 appearances.
Lane’s first baseman Ericka Webster finished out the preseason team as she led the Lady Dragons. Webster was ranked top in the conference and led the Lady Dragons as she recorded a .441 batting average. She was second in hits with 30 on the season while leading the Lady Dragons in doubles (7).
SOFTBALL PRESEASON TEAM
|C||Brianna Murillo||Albany State|
|1B||Jala Stewart||Albany State|
|SS||Tatiana Kelly||Clark Atlanta|
|OF||Jade Williams||Albany State|
|RP||Baylie Doiron||Spring Hill|
|SP||Aryn McGowan||Albany State|
|C||Sharnita Woods||Clark Atlanta|
|2B||Chase Gray-Still||Clark Atlanta|
|SS||Jittaun Thompson||Kentucky State|
|3B||Lavette Tucker||Albany State|
|OF||Keyanna Dawson||Albany State|
|OF||Alysha Sakamura||Kentucky State|
|RP||Kaija Aikman||Kentucky State|