Softball Selected Fifth in SCAC Poll, Begins Season Friday at Defending National Champion
Softball Selected Fifth in SCAC Poll, Begins Season Friday at Defending National Champion
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Pacific (1-2)
Centenary (LA) (0-1)
2/3/2017 | Tyler, Texas | Attendance: 85
Centenary (LA)0000010172
Win: Sims (1-2) 7.071131
Loss: Haley Miller (0-1) 3.076611
Togami (PAC-SB) 413100
Hallie Smith (CENTSB) 212000
Haley Campbell (CENTSB) 302100

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – After finishing third in the 2016 Southern Collegiate Conference Tournament, the conference coaches picked Centenary softball to finish fifth in the Preseason Poll released Thursday, Feb. 2.

Texas Lutheran, which won the SCAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship last season, was picked to defend its crown with 48 points and six first-place votes. Trinity received the other first-place vote and 38 points to finish second.

Southwestern (third, 33 points), Dallas (fourth, 29 points), Centenary (fifth, 21 points), Schreiner (sixth, 19 points) and Austin College (seventh, 8 points) round out the SCAC order of predicted finish.

In an ironic twist, the Ladies sent Southwestern to the loser’s bracket while ending the season of Dallas and Schreiner in the 2016 SCAC Tournament. The Maroon and White also officially knocked out Austin College out of tournament contention during the final weekend of the regular season.

The Centenary softball team finished last season 23-22. The 16-win improvement from 2015 was the third-biggest win improvement in all of NCAA Division III softball. The 23 wins also serve as the most victories for Ladies softball in seven seasons.

The Ladies return 4-of-5 All-Conference performers from last season. Leading the way is junior Haley Miller, who was named First Team as a Utility Player. Miller finished the season 5-5 with a 4.61 ERA and two saves in the circle. From the plate, she finished third on the team with a .338 batting average.

Sophomore Wendy Gillet received Second Team First Baseman All-Conference honors last season. Leading the team and finishing second in the SCAC in batting average, her .410 mark was the third-best in program history. Her team-best 59 hits also ranked second in the conference and fifth in a single-season in Ladies softball season. Her 16 doubles co-led with junior Anna Dunn and ranks third in Centenary softball annals.

Gillet also committed only one error in 2016.

Also returning is All-Conference Honorable Mention honorees in junior Michelle Tasin and sophomore Nicole Aldridge. Tasin finished second on the team and fifth in the conference with a .400 batting average, the fifth-best in program history. She also finished second on the team and third in the conference with the sixth-most hits in program history (58).

Tasin holds the top spot in the record book with a career .371 batting average.

Aldridge finished her first collegiate season in the circle with a 3.08 ERA and a 12-14 record with a save.

As a team in 2016, Centenary recorded the best single-season batting average in program history (.312). The Ladies 3.69 ERA last season was nearly five runs better than 2015.

The Ladies open the 2017 campaign with six games in four days, beginning with Pacific (Oregon) at 1 p.m. at UT-Tyler Friday, February 3. The Ladies end the day with the defending NCAA Division III National Champions in UT-Tyler at 5 p.m.

Centenary opens up home play Saturday, February 4, with a doubleheader against LeTourneau beginning at 2 p.m. The Ladies cap the five-game, American Southwest Conference-swing Tuesday, February 7, when they host Louisiana College for a double-dip beginning at 4 p.m.