2018 Conference Carolinas Softball Preview and Players to Watch

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The 2018 Conference Carolinas Softball preseason poll has been released. Limestone College will enter the season as the favorite to win the Conference Carolinas Softball Championship, according to Conference Carolinas coaches.


1.
 Limestone College: The Saints earned 89 points from Conference coaches, including eight first-place votes.

Limestone went 45-13 overall and 17-3 in league play last season, which led them to being the first-ever Conference Carolinas at-large selection to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship.

The Saints have the best pitcher in the league with all-conference selection and two-time reigning Pitcher of the Year Josie Weber returning for her senior campaign. Joining Weber on the pitching staff is fellow first team all-conference selection Courtney Smith, while all-conference pick Tessa Faucette and Emma Swearingen will be featured at the plate.

Players to Watch:

  • *Tessa Faucette (Sr.) - IF
  • *Courtney Smith (Sr.) - P
  • *Josie Weber (Sr.) - P

 

2.  North Greenville University: The Crusaders enter the season not far behind the Saints, earning 83 points and two first-place vote.

NGU punched a ticket to its first NCAA Division II Softball Championship after capturing the 2017 Conference Carolinas Softball Championship crown. North Greenville finished the season 36-19 overall and 17-5 in Conference Carolinas play.

The All-Conference Carolinas pitching duo of Amanda Coffrin and Brooklyn Fort will be a major factor in NGU repeating as Conference champs.

Players to Watch:

  • *Amanda Coffrin (Sr.) - P
  • *Brooklyn Fort (So.) - P
  • Kate Lee (Jr.) - OF

 

3. King University: The Tornado touch down in third-place with 71 points. King went 15-5 in Conference play and 32-19 overall in 2017.

In a league full of great pitching, The Tornado returning one of the best pitcher in all-conference pick Emma Hughes. Hannah Riddle, an all-conference pick in 2017, will headline King's offense.

Players to Watch:

  • Katelyn Davidson (Jr.) - C/1B
  • *Emma Hughes (So.) - P
  • *Hannah Riddle (Sr.) - OF

 

4. Erskine College: The Fleet landed 65 points to enter the season fourth. Erskine finished last season 12-8 in league play and 20-26 overall.

Players to Watch:

  • Reagan Davis (Jr.) - OF
  • Brittany Reynolds (Sr.) - SS
  • *Sydney Smith (Sr.) - 2B

 

5. University of Mount Olive: The Trojans tallied 60 points and are fifth-place to open 2018. Mount Olive finished last season by going an even 25-29 overall and 13-9 in Conference Carolinas play.

UMO returns one of the league's best players in Anna Ingram, who was a first team All-Conference Carolinas selection in 2017.

Players to Watch:

  • *Anna Ingram (Sr.) - C/1B

 

6. Barton College: Barton collected 51 points from Conference coaches. The Bulldogs went 24-27 overall in 2017 and posted an even 11-11 Conference mark.

Players to Watch:

  • *Sierra Hearp (So.) - P/UTL
  • Brittany Jacobs (Sr.) - 2B
  • Hannah Jones (Jr.) - P/3B

 

7. Belmont Abbey College: The Crusaders earned 37 points. Belmont Abbey turned in a 10-30-2 overall record and 6-16 Conference Carolinas mark.

Players to Watch:

  • Elena Duran (Fr.) - 3B
  • Chace Helms (So.) - P
  • Melissa Neyhouse (So.) - SS

 

8.  Lees-McRae College: The Bobcats are narrowly inn eighth with 35 points. Lees-McRae finished 15-34 overall and 6-16 in league play a season ago.

Players to Watch:

  • Noel Cassidy (Jr.) - C
  • Kara Cunningham (Jr.) - P/UTL
  • Sarah Tucker (Sr.) - 3B

 

9. Southern Wesleyan University: The Warriors posted 29 points from Conference coaches to enter the season ranked ninth. Southern Wesleyan went 9-37 overall in 2017, which included a 4-18 league record.

Players to Watch:

  • Riley Herdliska (Fr.) - 3B
  • Lexi Thompson (Jr.) - SS
  • Becca White (So.) - UTL

 

10. Converse College: The Valkyries round out the preseason poll in 10th with 20 points. Converse went 3-19 in Conference Carolinas play and 5-33 overall in 2017.

Players to Watch:

  • Jena Massing (Fr.) - P/SS
  • Allison Plafcan (Fr.) - 1B/3B
  • Marissa Steadman (Fr.) - P/OF


*denotes 2017 All-Conference Carolinas selection

 

2018 Softball Preseason Poll

School (first-place votes) Total
1. Limestone (8) 89
2. North Greenville (2) 83
3. King 71
4. Erskine 65
5. Mount Olive 60
6. Barton 51
7. Belmont Abbey 37
8. Lees-McRae 35
9. Southern Wesleyan 29
10. Converse 20

 


Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 11 teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey, Converse College, Emmanuel College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, University of Mount Olive, North Greenville University, and Southern Wesleyan. Emmanuel College is currently completing the NCAA Membership Process and will be fully competing in league championships in the near future.