SPARTANBURG, S.C.(WIAT/SAMFORD ATHLETICS)–
Three members of the Samford softball team were named second team preseason All-SoCon when the league released its preseason All-Conference teams and preseason poll.
Catcher Kathryn Jackson, and infielders Whitney Hinton and Merritt Cahoon were named second team All-SoCon. As a team, the Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in the league’s preseason poll, voted on by the SoCon’s seven head coaches.
Chattanooga was picked as the preseason favorite to win the league with 35 points and five first-place votes. UNCG was picked second with 28 points and one first place vote, while ETSU and Mercer tied for third with 22 points each, with ETSU receiving one first-place vote.
Samford followed at fifth with 20 points. After the Bulldogs, Furman and Western Carolina tied for sixth with 10 points each.
Last season, Hinton ranked second in the Southern Conference in runs batted in (45) and third in the league in both home runs (15) and total bases (104). Hinton batted .295 with a team-high .627 slugging percentage last season.
Jackson played 49 games either behind the plate or at designated player for the Bulldogs last season. She ranked second on the team with seven home runs, and she drove in 18 runs.
Cahoon was second on the team with a .303 batting average in 2019. She had five doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI during the season.
Samford will open the 2020 season by hosting a tournament, Feb. 7-9 at the Samford Softball Stadium.
Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Chattanooga (5) 35
2. UNCG (1) 28
3. ETSU (1) 22
5. Samford 20
6. Furman 10
Western Carolina 10
Preseason Player of the Year
Aly Walker, Chattanooga, Sr., OF
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Celie Hudson, Chattanooga, Sr.
Preseason First-Team All-SoCon
P Celie Hudson, Chattanooga, Sr.
P Allison Swinford, Chattanooga, Jr.
C Delaney Cumbie, UNCG, So.
IF Nikki Grupp, ETSU, Sr.
IF Danielle Castleberry, Mercer, R-Jr.
IF Jasmine Palmer, UNCG, R-Sr.
IF Emily Coltharp, Chattanooga, So.
OF Kelly Warren, ETSU, Jr.
OF Micayla Rood, Mercer, Jr.
OF Aly Walker, Chattanooga, Sr.
DP Kayleigh Willis, UNCG, Sr.
Preseason Second-Team All-SoCon
P Bailey Pattison, Mercer, So.
P Kinsey Liscio, Western Carolina, Sr.
C Kelsey Brown, ETSU, R-So.
C Tori Ash, Mercer, So.
C Kathryn Jackson, Samford, Sr.
IF Julia Fritz, ETSU, Jr.
IF Merritt Cahoon, Samford, So.
IF Whitney Hinton, Samford, Sr.
IF Emma Sturdivant, Chattanooga, R-Sr.
OF Allie Jones, Mercer, Jr.
OF Jordan Gontram, UNCG, R-Jr.
OF Makenna Matthijs, UNCG, Jr.
OF Hayleigh Weissenbach, Chattanooga, Sr.
DP Abby Walsh, Mercer, Sr.