LC Softball Picked 3rd in ASC East Preseason Poll - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

LC Softball Picked 3rd in ASC East Preseason Poll

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RICHARDSON, Texas –– Texas-Tyler and Mary Hardin-Baylor have been predicted to win 2013 American Southwest Conference softball division titles, it was announced by the league office on Wednesday (Jan. 30) after a vote of each division's head coaches, sports information directors and media members. Texas-Tyler teammates Ashley Endsleyand Heather Abshire, Howard Payne's Katie Poerner and Mary Hardin-Baylor's Rebekah Ragsdale earned top preseason individual honors.


Texas-Tyler, which went 38-9 overall and 20-4 in league play last season en route to division and conference titles, collected 145 points and 19 of the 21 possible first-place votes in the annual poll to be the East Division favorite. Head coach Mike Reed's Patriots, who advanced to the finals of the NCAA Division III Tyler Regional, led the ASC in hitting (.346) and pitching (1.80 ERA) last year. UT Tyler also won the conference title in 2009 and has advanced to five straight NCAA tournaments.


Six-time conference champion East Texas Baptist, which went 25-16 overall (14-10 ASC) last season, picked up 117 points and the remaining two first-place votes to be the East's second-place pick. Head coach Janae Schlabs-Shirley's Lady Tigers won the national championship in 2010. Three-time conference champion Louisiana College (28-15, 14-10 ASC), which has advanced to the NCAA tournament eight straight years, was predicted for a third-place finish after totaling 103 points. Mississippi College (26-14, 13-11 ASC) was the fourth-place selection and would round out the division's four teams to qualify for the ASC Championship Tournament.


Texas-Dallas picked up 64 points to be the fifth-place pick in the East, followed by LeTourneau (43 pts.) and Ozarks (25 pts.).


Mary Hardin-Baylor, which went 26-17 overall and 20-4 in league play last season to claim its third consecutive West Division title, received 140 points and all but four of the 21 possible first-place votes to be the favorite for a repeat crown. Head coach Larry Hennig's Cru led the division by striking out 155 batters and scoring 233 runs. UMHB has won an ASC-record seven overall division championships – all since 2002.


Hardin-Simmons (23-17, 16-8 ASC) was picked for a runner-up finish in the West after totaling 116 points and two first-place votes. The Cowgirls are under the direction of first-year head coach Arin Spence-Salas, who was an all-American pitcher at HSU and guided back-to-back conference titles in 2006-07. Howard Payne (19-21, 13-11 ASC) and Texas Lutheran (19-19, 13-11 ASC) tied for the third-place position with 90 points and one first-place vote each to conclude what would be the division's four ASC tournament teams.


Concordia Texas was picked fifth in the West with 84 points, followed by Schreiner (39 pts.) and Sul Ross State (29 pts).


Endlsey (Paris, Texas / Paris JC), a senior third baseman, was named ASC East Division Preseason Player of the Year after batting .420 with league-highs of 10 home runs, 50 RBIs and 96 total bases. She also hit 11 doubles and walked 27 times.


Abshire (Lafayette, La. / LSU-Eunice), a senior right-hander, was named ASC East Division Preseason Pitcher of the Year after going 22-4 with a 1.79 ERA and a league-best seven shutouts. Her win total was also tops in the conference and she batted .387 at the plate.


Poerner (Comfort, Texas / CHS), a senior outfielder, was named ASC West Division Preseason Player of the Year. She won player of the year honors last season with a .397 batting average and a conference-high eight triples. Poerner also had seven doubles and was 16-for-16 on stolen bases.


Ragsdale (Orange, Texas / West Orange HS), a junior right-hander, was named ASC West Division Preseason Player of the Year. She took the top pitching honor last year after going 14-7 with two saves and a 2.47 ERA. Ragsdale had division-highs of 87 strikeouts and seven shutouts.


Endlsey, Abshire, Poerner and Ragsdale were each ASC first team all-division picks last season as well as ASC all-tournament selections. Abshire was also named tournament MVP.


The 2013 ASC season – the 15th in league history – begins as early as Feb. 12. The ASC First Pitch Tournament, which features all 14 league teams in cross-divisional, non-conference action, is set for March 1-2 at Oran Good Park in Farmers Branch, Texas. The eight-team, double elimination conference tournament is on tap for April 25-27 also at Oran Good Park with an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship on the line.


NOTES: Schreiner's Jessica Peterka is also a new head coach in the conference this season. . . Former ASC institution Centenary went 5-32 overall last year but did not have a league record due to going through the NCAA Division III reclassifying process . . . . Texas-Tyler was ranked No. 6 in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25. The NFCA's preseason poll is scheduled to be released Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 30). . . . To talk about ASC Softball on Twitter this season, use the hashtag: #ASCsb.


[Voted on by ASC Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors and Media Members]



Team (first-place votes) Points 2012 Record

1. Texas-Tyler (19) 145 38-9, 20-4 ASC (1st)

2. East Texas Baptist (2) 117 25-16, 14-10 ASC (T2nd)

3. Louisiana College 103 28-15, 14-10 ASC (T2nd)

4. Mississippi College 91 26-14, 13-11 ASC (4th)

5. Texas-Dallas 64 24-14, 12-12 ASC (5th)

6. LeTourneau 43 18-21, 7-17 ASC (6th)

7. Ozarks 25 11-29, 4-20 ASC (7th)

* Centenary (5-32, 0-0 ASC) is no longer member of the conference.



Team (first-place votes) Points 2012 Record

1. Mary Hardin-Baylor (17) 140 26-17, 20-4 ASC (1st)

2. Hardin-Simmons (2) 116 23-17, 16-8 ASC (2nd)

T3. Howard Payne (1) 90 19-21, 13-11 ASC (T3rd)

T3. Texas Lutheran (1) 90 19-19, 13-11 ASC (T3rd)

5. Concordia Texas 84 18-18, 12-12 ASC (5th)

6. Schreiner 39 14-24, 9-15 ASC (6th)

7. Sul Ross State 29 4-26, 1-23 ASC (7th)


[Voted on by ASC Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors and Media Members]



Preseason Player of Year: Ashley Endlsey, 3B, Jr., Texas-Tyler

Preseason Pitcher of Year: Heather Abshire, RHP, Sr., Texas-Tyler



Preseason Player of Year: Katie Poerner, OF, Sr., Howard Payne

Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Rebekah Ragsdale, RHP, Jr., Mary Hardin-Baylor


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