Peach Belt Releases First Softball Preseason All-Conference Team
AUGUSTA, GA -- The Peach Belt Conference announced its
first-ever preseason All-Conference softball team as the 2008
season prepares to get underway. The team was chosen by the
league’s Sports Information Directors and features players
from six of the 10 baseball-playing schools in the PBC. Four of the
honorees were named All-Conference following the 2007 season.
Columbus State, who advanced to the national semifinals in 2007, led all schools with three preseason All-Conference players as did Armstrong Atlantic State. North Georgia was next with two players.
Mandy Chandler was named PBC All-Conference last season for GCSU. The junior from Covington, Ga., went 22-12 with a 1.33 ERA and 280 strikeouts in 2007. She also led the PBC with 221.1 innings pitched.
Rachel Darr was also impressive on the mound for Columbus State and was named PBC Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2007. A senior from Columbus, Ga., Darr was 27-2 in 2007 with a 0.98 ERA. She led the PBC in wins and was eighth in strikeouts with 157 on the season.
Jessica Strickland was named the co-Player of the Year in the Peach Belt in 2007 and became USC Aiken’s first All-American. A junior from North Charleston, S.C., she hit .349 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs in 2007, breaking the USCA single-season record for homers, RBIs and total bases. She was also ranked in the top 10 in seven major PBC stat categories.
Monica Wofford hit .345 last year for Francis Marion. A senior from Myrtle Beach, S.C., she collected nine doubles, two home runs and was ranked eighth in the PBC with her .462 on-base percentage. She also had a .962 fielding percentage at first base.
Natalie Vogler was named All-Conference last spring for Armstrong Atlantic State. The senior from Lynn Haven, Fla., hit. 361 with a team-best eight home runs and 41 RBIs. She was also ranked among the PBC league leaders with her .613 slugging percentage and .447 on-base percentage.
Leslee Smith was also named All-Conference from North Georgia as a freshman at third base. Returning for her sophomore season, the native of Lexington, Ga., hit .352 and led the Lady Saints with 10 home runs and 52 RBIs, which was also tied for sixth in the Peach Belt.
Brittany Leverett was the 2007 PBC Freshman of the Year and gets the preseason nod at shortstop after hitting .350 with 54 RBIs for the Lady Cougars. A native of Appling, Ga., she was also ranked third in the PBC with 62 runs scored and led the league in walks with 35.
Cassie Cooper made only three defensive outfield errors in 2007 and had a .956 fielding percentage to show for it at Columbus State. A senior from Phenix City, Ala., Cooper hit .335 with six homers and 31 RBIs. She also stole 11 bases.
Kari Marsico is also back for her senior season in the Armstrong Atlantic State outfield. A native of Rapid City, S.D., she hit .310 for the Pirates with a team-leading 14 doubles, seven home runs and 32 RBIs.
North Georgia’s Jessica Skeels is the final outfielder on the preseason All-Conference team. A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Skeels hit .350 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs…as a freshman. She also had just one fielding error and a .958 fielding percentage.
Nicole Huddleston is the designated/utility player on the preseason team. A sophomore from Rossville, Ga., Huddleston played first base and pitched for AASU. At the plate she hit .304 with a team-best eight home runs and 29 RBIs. On the mound she was 4-1 in 13 appearances.
2008 Peach Belt Conference
Softball Preseason All-Conference Team
|P|| Mandy Chandler||GCSU|
|P|| Rachael Darr||Columbus State|
|C|| Jessica Strickland||USC Aiken|
|1b|| Monica Wofford||Francis Marion|
|2b|| Natalie Vogler||Armstrong Atlantic State|
|3b|| Leslee Smith||North Georgia|
|SS|| Brittany Leverett||Columbus State|
|OF|| Cassie Cooper||Columbus State|
|OF|| Kari Marsico||Armstrong Atlantic State|
|OF|| Jessica Skeels||North Georgia|
|DP/UT|| Nicole Huddleston||Armstrong Atlantic State|