Four Selected to All-SoCon Preseason Softball Teams; Phoenix Tabbed Seventh

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team had four members of its squad selected to the 2014 Southern Conference Preseason Teams as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The Phoenix was tabbed to finished seventh overall by the league’s head coaches with 14 points.

Senior outfielder Carleigh Nester was chosen to the Preseason All-Conference first team along with sophomore Emily Cameron as a utility player. Fellow seniors Johanna Spencer and Lauren Oldham were tabbed to the Preseason All-SoCon second team at third base and second base, respectively.

Nester was a first team All-SoCon selection for the first time in 2013 and is the Phoenix’s returning leader in a number of offensive categories. The Kernesville, N.C., native batted .370 with 11 home runs, 34 runs batted in, 14 doubles and 14 stolen bases last season. She also had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage for the second straight year and was a NFCA All-South Region selection.

Cameron hit .269 in her 39 games last season while playing a number of positions on the field. The Kennesaw, Ga., native hit a home run in the Phoenix’s season opener against then eighth-ranked Georgia last season to help Elon upset the Bulldogs, 5-2.

Spencer finished third on the team in batting average a year ago after hitting .341 and was also tied for third in RBI with 26. The Halifax, Va., native also had six doubles and a triple to her stat line.

Oldham started all 51 games she played in 2013 with 35 of them coming at second base. The Pittsboro, N.C., native led the team in assists with 71 and in triples with three. She also had an eight-game hitting streak last season, the third longest on the team.

Georgia Southern was predicted as the league favorite with seven first-place votes and 49 points overall. UNCG was picked second followed by last year’s regular-season champion, Appalachian State, in third.

UNCG’s Lindsay Thomas was chosen as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year while Georgia Southern’s Sarah Purvis received the nod for the Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Elon will begin its 2014 campaign on Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Charleston Southern Tournament as the maroon and gold face UNC Wilmington and Maryland Eastern Shore.

Preseason Poll

Team (First Place Votes)     Points
1. Georgia Southern (7)      49
2. UNCG                      40
3. Appalachian State (1)     35
4. Chattanooga               31
5. Furman                    24
6. Samford                   20
7. Elon                      14
8. Western Carolina          11

Preseason Player of the Year
Lindsay Thomas, Catcher, UNCG

Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern

Preseason First-Team All-Conference

P   Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern
P   Raeanne Hanks, UNCG
C   Lindsay Thomas, UNCG
1B  Lindsay Loudermilk, Appalachian State
2B  Taylor Jenkins, Furman
SS  Kourtny Thomas, Georgia Southern
3B  Sarah Beth Roberts, Chattanooga
OF  Carleigh Nester, Elon
OF  Allison Geiner, UNCG
OF  Sam Taylor, Chattanooga
DP  Katelyn Bedwell, UNCG
UT  Emily Cameron, Elon
Preseason Second-Team All-Conference
P   Lauren Collier, Furman
P   Mollie Hanson, Samford
C   Sarah Warnock, Appalachian State
1B  Taylor Sigmon, Western Carolina
2B  Lauren Oldham, Elon
SS  Alyssa Taylor, Chattanooga
3B  Johanna Spencer, Elon
OF  Ambree Muller, Furman
OF  Nikki Legg, Furman
OF  Tatiana Alcala, UNCG
OF  Stephanie Rieck, Chattanooga
DP  Shelby Morrill, Georgia Southern