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    Southland announces 2013 preseason All-Conference softball teams

    1:30 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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    FRISCO, Texas (Southland) - Sam Houston State senior first baseman Kim Damian, the 2012 Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, highlights a talented list of returning players on the 2013 preseason all-conference softball teams, the league office announced Wednesday.

    Damian, an Angleton, Texas, native, became the first Sam Houston player to earn hitter of the year honors in 19 years after leading the Bearkats to an appearance in the Southland tournament championship game. The Bearkat first baseman led the Southland in slugging (.684), total bases (104) and homeruns (11) and ranked sixth in batting average (.362) in 2012. She totaled 15 multiple hit games and had an eight-game hitting streak last year, which was the longest on the Bearkats' squad. Damian was efficient in the field last season, posting a .989 fielding percentage while only committing three errors.

    The other award winner returning to the diamond this season is Nicholls State senior second baseman Ashley Bertot, last season's newcomer of the year. A native of League City, Texas, Bertot was the second consecutive Colonel to be named newcomer of the year, joining former teammate Ashley Ray. Bertot led the conference in batting average (.388) and on-base percentage (.459) while ranking second in stolen bases (15) and eighth in both hits (54) and runs scored (30).

    Sam Houston State leads all teams with seven all-conference selections, including four players on the first team. First-team honorees for the Bearkats include Damian, senior third baseman Shelbi Tucker, senior outfielder Tori Benavidez and sophomore catcher Hillary Adams. Sam Houston's second-team members are senior designated player Ashley Isbell, junior shortstop Sarah Allison and junior pitcher Shelby Tucker.

    Central Arkansas posts six all-conference selections with three seniors on the first team. Utility player Melissa Bryant, outfielder Staphanie Lasley and pitcher Kelsie Armstrong all receive first-team honors while senior catcher Melanie Bryant, sophomore third baseman Tiffany Roby and sophomore first baseman Ashley Boswell earn a spot on the second team for the Bears.

    Joining UCA with three selections on the first-team is McNeese State. Representing the Cowgirls are senior pitcher Meagan Bond, junior outfielder Alanna DiVittorio and sophomore designated player Ashley Modzelewski. McNeese also has one second-team honoree with sophomore outfielder Lauren Langner to give the Cowgirls a total of four all-conference selections.

    Nicholls and Northwestern State each place one member on the first team to round out the team. Nicholls is represented by Bertot while junior shortstop Tara McKenney is the lone Lady Demon on the team.

    Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin both have two second-team all-conference selections while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi completes the preseason all-conference team with one member on the second team.

    Returning players who earned first- and second-team all-conference honors following the 2012 season automatically receive preseason honors. Third-team postseason selections move into vacated positions on the first and second preseason teams. The remaining spots are voted on by the league's head coaches.

    2013 All-Southland Conference Preseason Softball Teams
    First Team
    Pos.        Name          University          Class           Hometown
    1B Kim Damian*      Sam Houston State    Sr.    Angleton, Texas
    2B Ashley Bertot*   Nicholls State            Sr.    League City, Texas
    3B Shelbi Tucker*   Sam Houston State    Sr.    Montgomery, Texas
    SS Tara McKenney* Northwestern State   Jr.     Red Oak, Texas
    C Hillary Adams*      Sam Houston State   So.    Elgin, Texas
    UT Melissa Bryant*   Central Arkansas      Sr.     Hernando, Miss.
    DP Ashley Modzelewski* McNeese State   So.     Sour Lake, Texas
    OF Tori Benavidez*     Sam Houston State Sr.     Midlothian, Texas
    OF Alanna DiVittorio*  McNeese State       Jr.      Harahan, La.
    OF Stephanie Lasley* Central Arkansas     Sr.      Enola, Ark.
    P Kelsie Armstrong*    Central Arkansas     Sr.      Hot Springs, Ark.
    P Meagan Bond          McNeese State       Sr.      Lumberton, Miss.

    Second Team
    Pos.        Name          University          Class           Hometown
    1B Ashley Boswell*     Central Arkansas    So.    Tahlequah, Okla.
    2B Megan McCollum    Southeastern La.    Jr.     Lafayette, La.
    3B Tiffany Roby*        Central Arkansas    So. North Little Rock, Ark.
    SS Sarah Allison*       Sam Houston State Jr.  College Station, Texas
    C Melanie Bryant*      Central Arkansas     Sr.    Hernando, Miss.
    UT Elizabeth Arana*   Stephen F. Austin   Jr.  The Woodlands, Texas
    DP Ashley Isbell*        Sam Houston State Sr.     Katy, Texas
    OF Michelle Duhe         Southeastern La.   Sr.     Lutcher, La.
    OF Mickayla Cochran    A&M-Corpus Christi So.    Peoria, Ariz.
    OF Lauren Langner       McNeese State      So.    Pearland, Texas
    P Shelby Lancaster      Sam Houston State Jr.     Tomball, Texas
    P Carlie Thomas          Stephen F. Austin   Jr.      Huntington, Texas


    *Returning all-conference selection

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