FGCUAthletics.com
FGCU Softball Picked Fourth in A-Sun Preseason Poll
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team was selected fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches’ poll, the conference announced Wednesday. Lipscomb earned top billing, edging out Campbell and Mercer. Outfielders Lauran Ziegler and Courtney Platt were also named to the preseason all-conference team.

After being selected second in last year’s preseason poll, FGCU landed fourth in the 2010 poll and nested two Eagles on the 2010 Preseason All-Conference Team. As a sophomore, Courtney Platt earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA South All-Region First-Team honors after finishing the season with a .437 average, 10 home runs, 50 RBI, and a .770 slugging percentage. Fellow Eagle Lauran Ziegler joins Platt on the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun squad. Ziegler had a knockout junior season at FGCU in which she earned All-Atlantic Sun First-Team honors in her first season with the Eagles. The Palm Bay, Fla. native finished the season with a .388 batting average and a .444 on-base percentage. Ziegler led the A-Sun in hits (73), stolen bases (26), and runs scored (62).

FGCU head coach Dave Deiros said, “The voting confirms that FGCU softball, with Ziggy in left, Platty in right, and the underrated Jessica Gary in center, has the best outfield in the conference and arguably one of the best in the country. They again will be the center of our offense this season.”

Deiros went on to say, “We only dropped from 2nd to 4th in the conference rankings from last year. I believe that has more to do with the respect that the conference coaches have for our four returning starters (Platt, Ziegler, Gary, and pitcher Cat McDaniel) than the drop-off they expect from our loss of six starters.”

The Lady Bisons were tabbed as the preseason favorite, garnering five first-place votes and 111 total votes. Lipscomb compiled a 15-5 A-Sun record last season and return nine starters, including 2010 Preseason Player of the Year Kellie Sirus. Last season, Sirus earned spots on the All-Atlantic Sun First-Team and the All-Tournament Team. Sirus ranked 17th nationally in NCAA Division I in doubles per game (.32), 25th in batting average (.418), 36th in RBI per game (.91) and 40th in slugging percentage (.724). The psychology major also earned an A-Sun Player of the Week award on April 27.

Abby Keese joined Sirus on the 2010 Preseason All-Conference Team. A Second-Team All-Atlantic Sun selection, the Denver native placed eighth in runs batted in (46), fifth in doubles (12) and sixth in on base percentage (.465). The junior totaled 11 multi-hit games and ranked second on the Lady Bisons in multi-RBI games with 11, slugging percentage (.566), on base percentage (.415), home runs (9), total bases (90) RBI and doubles, while ranking third in batting average (.321) and hits (51).

The Lady Camels won both the regular-season and tournament titles a season ago and return six starters, including 2010 Preseason All-Conference Pitcher of the Year in junior pitcher Brittany Stanley. Last season, Stanley earned First-Team All-Conference honors after finishing A-Sun play with a 0.63 ERA. The senior, from West Lafayette, Ind., collected 10 wins in conference play, setting a Camel single-season record. After earning 2008 Tournament MVP, Stanley backed up that performance by winning the award again in 2009, going 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 31 innings during the course of the tournament.

Fellow Lady Camel Robin Leathers joins Stanley on the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun squad. The Tucson, Ariz. native had a spectacular junior season at Campbell in which she finished the season at .314 with 15 home runs, 39 RBI, and a .641 slugging percentage, in addition to 21 walks, 98 total bases, 59 hits, and a .400 on-base percentage.

Mercer took third in the poll seeking to improve on a 14-6 league record from last season. The Bears’ representation on the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team comes courtesy of junior pitcher Jenni Holtz and senior Holly Oglesbee. In 2009, Holtz earned First-Team All-Atlantic Sun honors after leading the Bears in strikeouts (209), innings pitched (184), wins (21) and ERA (1.56). The league selected the Tracy, Calif. native as the A-Sun Pitcher of the Week twice, on March 23 and April 13. Oglesbee, a Fayetteville, Ga. native, earned First-Team All-Atlantic Sun honors in 2009 after leading Mercer in multiple hit games (18), hits (56), doubles (17) and runs scored (30).

USC Upstate took fifth in the poll, after posting an 11-9 mark in league play in 2009. USC Upstate’s representation on the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun team comes courtesy of junior catcher Kim Brasil. In 2009, Brasil earned Second-Team All-Conference accolades after turning in a strong season for the Spartans. The junior catcher led the Spartans with a .342 batting average, 12 doubles and stole a team-best nine bases out of 10 attempts. In the A-Sun, Brasil ranked 13th in batting average, as the Mississauga, Ontario native hit .304 against league competition. The physical education major tied for the top spot at USC Upstate with a seven-game hitting streak during the year and also tied for the team lead with 13 multi-hit games.

Kennesaw State took sixth in the poll followed by UNF and ETSU. Preseason All-Atlantic Sun selection Katy Jett leads the Lady Bucs after posting the fifth best single-season batting average in ETSU history (.337). The Talbot, Tenn. native led the Lady Bucs in hits (59), runs scored (34), total bases (71), slugging percentage (.406) and on-base percentage (.377). Jett also led ETSU with 17 multi-hit games to go along with 14 stolen bases and nine doubles and earned Academic All-Conference honors.

Stetson placed ninth, followed by Jacksonville and Belmont. Dolphins’ junior Katie Kelly rounded out the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun squad. The junior from Callahan, Fla., earned First-Team All-Conference honors in 2009 after hitting a team-best .327, to go along with 10 doubles and 30 runs scored. Kelly became the first Dolphin in school history to receive first team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region accolades.

FGCU opens up the 2010 season in Clearwater, Fla., at the USF DeMarini Tournament, February 12-14. The Eagles will play five games in the tournament, including a Sunday match-up with preseason No. 13 Georgia Tech. The Blue and Green begin the tournament on Friday, February 12, when they take on Canisius at 12:30 p.m., followed by a contest against East Carolina at 2:30 p.m.

2010 Atlantic Sun Softball - Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rank

School (First Place Votes)

Votes

1.

Lipscomb (5)

111

2.

Campbell (6)

106

3.

Mercer

91

4.

FGCU

85

5.

USC Upstate

77

6.

Kennesaw State

67

7.

UNF

53

8.

ETSU

45

9.

Stetson

44

10.

Jacksonville

32

11.

Belmont

15

Tournament Champion: Lipscomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2010 Atlantic Sun Softball Preseason All-Conference Team

Position

Player

Class

School

Pitcher

Brittany Stanley

Senior

Campbell

Pitcher

Jenni Holtz

Junior

Mercer

Catcher

Kim Brasil

Junior

USC Upstate

Infielder

Kellie Sirus

Senior

Lipscomb

Infielder

Abby Keese

Senior

Lipscomb

Infielder

Robin Leathers

Senior

Campbell

Infielder

Katy Jett

Senior

ETSU

Outfielder

Courtney Platt

Junior

FGCU

Outfielder

Holly Oglesbee

Senior

Mercer

Outfielder

Lauran Ziegler

Senior

FGCU

DP

Katie Kelly

Junior

Jacksonville

Preseason Player of the Year: Kellie Sirus, Sr., Lipscomb

Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Brittany Stanley, Sr., Campbell