Appalachian State University softball was tabbed to finish third in the annual Southern Conference preseason coaches’ poll, the conference announced




Last year’s tournament champion, Georgia Southern, received seven first place votes and 49 points to finish at the top of the poll. The Eagles return pitcher Sarah Purvis, last season’s SoCon Pitcher of the Year, who was named preseason Pitcher of the Year. UNCG was picked to finish second, receiving zero first place votes and 40 points.



The Mountaineers were picked to finish third with one first place vote and 35 points after claiming the 2013 SoCon regular-season title. Senior first baseman Lindsay Loudermilk (Bluff City, Tenn./Sullivan East) is the lone Mountaineer to earn a spot as a preseason first-team all-league selection, while junior catcher Sarah Warnock (Jamestown, N.C./Southwest Guilford) was selected to the second-team after earning second-team honors in 2013.



Chattanooga finished fourth with 31 points, while Furman (24), Samford (20), Elon (14) and Western Carolina (11) rounded out the remaining five spots in the annual poll.



Appalachian opens its 2014 season when the Mountaineers travel to Tempe, Ariz. on Feb. 6 for the Kajikawa Classic. The Apps will take on San Diego State at 6 p.m. and Western Michigan at 8:30 p.m.



2014 SoCon Preseason Poll

1. Georgia Southern (7) 49

2. UNCG 40

3. Appalachian State (1) 35

4. Chattanooga 31

5. Furman 24

6. Samford 20

7. Elon 14

8. Western Carolina 11



Preseason Player of the Year

Lindsay Thomas, Catcher, UNCG



Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern



Preseason First-Team All-Conference

P Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern

P Raeanne Hanks, UNCG

C Lindsay Thomas, UNCG

1B Lindsay Loudermilk, Appalachian State

2B Taylor Jenkins, Furman

SS Kourtny Thomas, Georgia Southern

3B Sarah Beth Roberts, Chattanooga

OF Carleigh Nester, Elon

OF Allison Geiner, UNCG

OF Sam Taylor, Chattanooga

DP Katelyn Bedwell, UNCG

UT Emily Cameron, Elon



Preseason Second-Team All-Conference

P Lauren Collier, Furman

P Mollie Hanson, Samford

C Sarah Warnock, Appalachian State

1B Taylor Sigmon, Western Carolina

2B Lauren Oldham, Elon

SS Alyssa Taylor, Chattanooga

3B Johanna Spencer, Elon

OF Ambree Muller, Furman

OF Nikki Legg, Furman

OF Tatiana Alcala, UNCG

OF Stephanie Rieck, Chattanooga

DP Shelby Morrill, Georgia Southern



Photo Courtesy: Lindsay Loudermilk, ASU Athletics