Ladies Softball Picked Fourth in Preseason Poll
Friday, January 25, 2008

ELMHURST, Ill.-The Summit League released its preseason softball poll today and Centenary was tabbed fourth by the voting panel comprised of the league’s nine head coaches. The Ladies received 42 points overall and finished fourth in the final standings last season.


Centenary returns seven starters from last year’s squad that went 22-27. Leading the returnees are senior Amy Wiedeman and juniors Emerald Doria and Allison McClain.


Wiedeman was leading the team in hitting at .341 last season when an injury caused her to miss the last several weeks of the campaign. Doria has posted back-to-back seasons with a batting average better than .300 from her short stop position and was the 2006 conference Newcomer of the Year. McClain was an All-Conference and All-Louisiana selection last year as a utility infielder. She played four infield positions and batted .282 with a .396 on-base percentage.


Also coming back are sophomore pitchers Ryan Thacker (7-7, 3.71 ERA) and Stacy Whitmer (7-9, 4.70 ERA). The duo combined to toss 201 innings in 2007. The pitching corps will also receive a shot in the arm from redshirt freshman Lauren Highsmith, who sat out last season with an injury.


Western Illinois was picked to finish first in the Summit League, with Southern Utah in second and newcomer North Dakota State third. The complete poll results are listed below.


2008 Summit League Softball Preseason Poll

1. Western Illinois (5), 61 points

2. Southern Utah (3), 57 points

3. North Dakota State (1), 49 points

4. Centenary, 42 points

5. Oakland, 37 points

6. IUPUI, 28 points

7. South Dakota State, 25 points

8. UMKC, 14 points

9. IPFW, 11 points

( ) = first place votes