The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team was picked to finish second in the Southern Conference’s preseason poll, while six UTC players were selected to the All-Conference team.
The six Lady Mocs selected are the most of any team in the conference, including SoCon frontrunner Georgia Southern, and it’s the second season in a row Chattanooga has led the league in preseason honors.
Senior Sara Poteat, senior Kasy Tydingco and sophomore Cheyenne Willis were named First-Team All-Conference, while junior Stephanie Rieck, sophomore Taylor Deason and sophomore Sara Beth Roberts were selected as Second-Team All-Conference.
Appalachian State’s Allie Cashion was named the preseason Player of the Year, while Georgia Southern’s Sarah Purvis has been named preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Poteat led the SoCon with a .437 batting average in 2012 with a team-leading 18 stolen bases. The second baseman had 62 hits, tied for fourth in the conference with former teammate Michelle Fuzzard. Poteat started 45 games last season for the Lady Mocs, and she was a 2012 All-Conference First-Team selection.
Tydingco started 55 games at first base in 2012, and batted .360 on the season. The senior was fifth in the SoCon with 13 home runs, collected 17 doubles, and the Fairfield, Ca., native’s 33 extra-base hits second in the league. Tydingco was also a 2012 All-SoCon First-Team selection
Willis tied for the league lead in runs scored (52) with Fuzzard, and claimed the top spot with four triples. Willis also finished in the top 10 in the SoCon in hits (57), runs batted in (38) and sacrifice flies (4).
Rieck, who earned a spot in the lineup midway through last season, batted .430 with a .520 slugging percentage in 39 games last spring. She started 30 games in the outfield for the Lady Mocs, finishing with a .917 fielding percentage. Reick had 43 hits and 52 total bases with 30 runs scored in just 100 at-bats.
Deason receives her first preseason honor after leading the Southern Conference with 24 wins as a freshman in 2012, tying the UTC freshman record set by Brooke Loudermilk in 2007. Deason maintained a 2.23 ERA, while holding opposing hitters to a .247 batting average in 204.1 innings pitched. Her 177 strikeouts and 45 appearances were good enough for second in the confrerence.
Roberts, who batted .328 in 48 starts as a freshman, totaled 45 hits and 14 extra-base hits, while driving in 22 runs. Her .399 on-base percentage and six stolen bases were tops among third basemen nominated.
Willis, Rieck, Deaon and Roberts were each selected to the All-Conference Second-Team in 2012.