Greenville, S.C. – Juniors Lauren Collier and Nikki Legg were selected to the preseason All-Southern Conference Softball Second Team and Furman was tabbed to finish ninth in voting by the league's nine head coaches, it was announced by the league office on Tuesday.
Collier, a native of Maineville, Ohio, batted .268 with four homers and 18 RBI a year ago en route to earning second team all-league honors. The righthander, however, was limited by injury to just 13 appearances in the circle.
Legg, a centerfielder from Pawleys Island, S.C., returns to the Paladin lineup after leading Furman with a .343 average and 27 runs last season while hitting in the leadoff spot. She collected 12 RBI, five extra base hits and struck out just nine times in 166 at bats as a sophomore.
Georgia Southern was picked to repeat as SoCon champions while perennial SoCon power Chattanooga was tabbed to finish second and received two first place votes.
The Paladins open the 2013 campaign February 8-9, at the Plainsman Invitational in Auburn, Ala., where they will face Army, Kent State, Austin Peay and the host Auburn Tigers. After doubleheaders at Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian and USC Upstate, Furman travels to Rock Hill, S.C., March 1-3, for the Winthrop Invitational to face Rhode Island, Monmouth, the host Eagles, Dayton and ACC member Virginia before opening its home schedule with a twinbill versus Kennesaw State at Pepsi Stadium on March 6.
Furman returns seven of eight position starters and two pitchers from its 2012 squad.
Team (First Place Votes) Points
1. Georgia Southern (7) 63
2. Chattanooga (2) 58
3. College of Charleston 50
4. Appalachian State 38
5. Elon 32
6. UNCG 31
7. Western Carolina 22
8. Samford 20
9. Furman 10
Preseason Player of the Year
Allie Cashion, Outfield, Appalachian State
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern
Preseason First-Team All-Conference
P Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern
P Stephanie Saylors, College of Charleston
C Madison Dickey, Samford
1B Kasey Tydingco, Chattanooga
2B Sara Poteat, Chattanooga
SS Lizzy Vaughn, College of Charleston
3B Kelsey Hodgson, College of Charleston
OF Allie Cashion, Appalachian State
OF Cheyenne Willis, Chattanooga
OF Tomeka Watson, Elon
DP Shemekia Scotton, Western Carolina
UT Aisha Figueroa, UNCG
Preseason Second-Team All-Conference
P Taylor Deason, Chattanooga
P Hope Klicker, College of Charleston
C Sarah Warnock, Appalachian State
1B Eileen Horsmon, UNCG
2B Meghan Smith, Appalachian State
SS Abby Adams, Samford
3B Sarah Beth Roberts, Chattanooga
OF Stephanie Rieck, Chattanooga
OF Carleigh Nester, Elon
OF Nikki Legg, Furman
DP Lauren Collier, Furman
UT Hope Klicker, College of Charleston