The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team was voted in near-unanimous fashion to win the 2012 South Atlantic Conference Championship, league officials announced today.L-R, which finished 45-10 last season including
a 16-2 mark in league play, received nine out of the 10 first-place votes and 99 out of the possible 100 points.
Lenoir-Rhyne is the two-time defending South Atlantic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champions and placed five players on the all-conference preseason squads including four on the first team.
L-R senior pitcher Dawon Millwood (Hixson, Tenn.), senior second baseman Carlee Carpenter (Newton, N.C.), junior first baseman Jessica Fellmeth (Waxhaw, N.C.) and sophomore outfielder Jody Mizelle (Colerain, N.C.) were all selected to the first team.
Millwood was named the 2011 SAC Pitcher Of The Year after finishing with a 27-4 record, a 1.47 earned run average and 172 strikeouts last spring. Millwood is a three-time all-conference (2009-11) and two-time all-region (2010-11) selection who has compiled a 66-12 record during that span.
Carpenter, a three-time all-region (2009-11) and two-time All-SAC honoree (2010-11), was second on the team last season in batting average (.371) and led the squad in hits (66) including a school-record 23 doubles.
Fellmeth was an All-Southeast Region and All-South Atlantic Conference in 2011 as she finished with a .350 batting average, eight home runs and 38 runs batted in.
Mizelle, a 2011 all-conference and all-region honoree as well, led L-R in home runs (15), runs batted in (45) and total bases (122) last spring.
Finally, sophomore third baseman Haily Jarman (Wadesboro, N.C.) was voted on to the 2012 All-South Atlantic Conference Preseason Second Team. Jarman was second on the squad in home runs (14) and runs batted in (44) last year to go along with a .339 batting average.
Lenoir-Rhyne looks to build on last year's squad that advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Super Regional Tournament for the second consecutive season and finished ranked No. 10 nationally.
L-R opens the 2012 campaign on Wednesday, February 8, against Belmont Abbey at home in a doubleheader at Bears Field beginning at 2:00 p.m.
2012 South Atlantic Conference
Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Lenoir-Rhyne 99 (9)
2. Carson-Newman 84
3. Wingate 77
4. Catawba 71
5. Tusculum 57
6. Lincoln Memorial 48 (1)
7. Anderson 37
8. Mars Hill 34
9. Newberry 25
10. Brevard 18
2012 All-South Atlantic Conference
Softball Preseason Teams
C - Brianna Shoemake, Carson-Newman
P - Mary Shealy, Carson-Newman
P - Dawon Millwood, Lenoir-Rhyne
1B - Jessica Fellmeth, Lenoir-Rhyne
2B - Carlee Carpenter, Lenoir-Rhyne
SS - Abby Child, Anderson
3B - Natalie Haithcox, Mars Hill
OF - Brianna Mulkey, Lincoln Memorial
OF - Jody Mizelle, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF - Kim Whaley, Carson-Newman
Utility - Kayla Myers, Catawba
DP - Amber Duncan, Anderson
C - Brittany Barrineau, Wingate
P - Emily Huneycutt, Catawba
P - Elizabeth Johnson, Tusculum
1B - Allison Justice, Catawba
2B - Ashley Roof, Newberry
SS - Bridget Eicher, Lincoln Memorial
3B - Haily Jarman, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF - Ashley McCurry, Mars Hill
OF - Ashley Burke, Tusculum
OF - Brittany Fowler, Brevard
Utility - Chelsi Mallory, Brevard
DP - Emily Boykin, Brevard