Ladies Softball Picked as Mid-Con Preseason Favorite
Tuesday, January 11, 2005

ELMHURST, Ill. – After winning the Mid-Continent Conference tournament in their first year of conference play, the Centenary softball team has been tabbed as the preseason favorite to repeat in the 2005 season.  The Ladies received three of a possible seven first-place votes, accumulating 33 overall points, as voted by the head coaches of participating schools.


            “We’re honored to be selected number one,” Coach Mark Montgomery said.  “It goes to show the hard work our players gave last season and the caliber of talent we have returning this year.”


            Back for the Ladies are sophomores Micah Rhodes and Megan Hall, both selected first-team All-Conference last season.  Rhodes led Centenary with a .348 batting average and .652 slugging percentage, both third-best in the Mid-Con, and was named Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year for her efforts.  Hall hit .289 with a five doubles and a pair of triples.


            Also returning for Centenary are seniors Lory Kowalski and Janis Kelley.  Both were selected second-team All-Conference and Kowalski earned All-Tournament honors as well.


            “Beginning at number one is all good and well,” Coach Montgomery says, “but finishing at number one is what matters.  All you have to do is look at what Valparaiso did last year to know that everyone has a chance to win.”


            Valparaiso (25 points) was chosen to finish last in the 2004 preseason poll, but battled hard, finishing second as the runner-up to the Ladies.  The Crusaders have been selected to finish third this year behind Centenary and Western Illinois (two first-place votes, 30 points), earning one first place nod.  Southern Utah (24 points), the back-to-back Mid-Con regular season champs, received the final first place vote.  IUPUI (16 points), UMKC (12 points), and Oakland (7 points) round out the voting in fifth, sixth, and seventh places respectively.