Thursday, January 23, 2014

TWU selected to repeat in 2014 LSC Softball Preseason Poll

Courtesy LSC Office

Official Release from the LSC Office
Texas Woman's was selected to repeat as Lone Star Conference softball champions as the 2014 preseason poll was revealed by league officials on Friday.

        TWU collected 13 of the 24 first-place votes for a total of 166 points in the poll decided by LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.  The Pioneers are coming off the most successful season in school history with a record 51 wins to claim both the LSC championship and tournament titles.  TWU made its first NCAA Division II Softball National Championship appearance after prevailing in both the regional and super regional.

        Furthermore, the Pioneers Katie Hines and Brandie Lander earned LSC Preseason Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year acclaim, respectively.

        Hines, a senior utility player from Beaumont, Texas, notched her name in both the LSC and TWU record book with 25 home runs and 85 RBI in 2013.  She finished the season with a .393 batting average, .845 slugging percentage, .484 on base percentage, 18 doubles, 48 runs and 174 total bases. She also appeared in the circle in 24 games for the Pioneers and posted an 11-3 record, 3.12 ERA, 56 strikeouts and .272 opponent's batting average.

        Lander, a senior pitcher from Gun Barrel City, Texas, paced the LSC with a 1.94 ERA en route to 22 wins with 160 strikeouts.  She tossed 17 complete games and held opponents to .233 batting average.

        West Texas A&M was a close second in the poll with eight first-place mentions for 159 points.  Midwestern State was third with 146 points and one first-place nod to edge Angelo State, who was tabbed fourth with 145 points and the remaining two first-place tallies.

        Tarleton State was fifth with 95 points, while Cameron (76), Eastern New Mexico (40), and Texas A&M-Kingsville (37) rounded out the poll.

        The 2014 season starts February 1 with LSC teams playing a single round-robin schedule with a four games against each league opponent.  Teams will face schedule partners in doubleheaders at split sites, and all other opponents in a 3-game series (doubleheader one day and single 7-inning game the other day) plus one game at the LSC Showcase, which will be hosted by MSU in Wichita Falls, March 13-16.

        The overall LSC Champion will be the team(s) with the best winning percentage in regular-season conference games, while the winner of the postseason championship will be recognized as LSC Tournament Champion and receive the league's automatic qualification into NCAA postseason.  The single-elimination championship will be played May 2-3, at the No. 1 seed.

        Here is a closer look at the voting breakdown:

Rank LSC Softball 1st TOTAL
1 Texas Woman's 13 166
2 West Texas A&M 8 159
3 Midwestern State  1 146
4 Angelo State  2 145
5 Tarleton State  95
6 Cameron  76
7 Eastern New Mexico  40
8 Texas A&M-Kingsville 37

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico