High Point, N.C.> Conference Carolinas head softball coaches voted Coker College as their preseason poll favorite for the 2009 season. The Coker College softball team won their second straight regular season Conference Carolinas Championship in 2008, going 17-1 in conference competition with a 35-12 overall record. Returning to lead the Lady Cobras in her senior season is 2008 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, Shelly Catlett. Last season, Shelly posted a record of 27-7, with a 1.80 ERA in 233 innings of work. Catlett dominated hitters throughout the season, racking up 229 strikeouts, placing her at the top of the conference and the nation.
Also returning from last year’s squad is First Team All-Conference designated player, Miranda Klees and 2008 Coker Freshman of the Year, Haleigh Rogers. Along with a cast of newcomers, Coker and 2008 Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year, David Hanna, will be on the hunt to make it three conference titles in a row, while also looking to return to the NCAA Regionals.
The Pfeiffer University softball team earned the number two spot in the Conference Carolinas preseason coaches’ poll this year. The Falcons return eight letter winners, including six starters, from last season's Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship team. Highlighting the returnees are Martina Bullard an All-Region 2nd team outfielder, and shortstop Sarah Moore, a conference All-Tournament team member. Pfeiffer completed the 2008 season with a record of 30-23 overall, while going 12-8 in conference play.
Newcomers looking to make their mark with the Falcons this season are pitcher Christie Thomas, as well as third baseman Heather Nobles and second baseman Kylee Nichols. The Falcons added eight newcomers to the roster, consisting of three junior college transfers and five freshmen.
After winning a share of the regular season conference championship in 2007 and reaching the championship game of last year’s Conference Carolinas Tournament, Mount Olive College hopes to continue its success in 2009. The Trojans have posted a school record 68 wins over the last two seasons.
Mount Olive returns Academic All-America second team and All-Region first team designated hitter/pitcher Jenny Jackson. The 2007 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year has been among the nation’s hitting and pitching leaders during her first two years at Mount Olive.
Also returning are senior pitcher Anna Turvin and senior outfielder Kat Cahoon, both of whom earned All-Tournament honors at last year’s conference tournament. The Trojans add three more pitchers and bring back all of their position players except catcher and second base
Rounding out the softball preseason poll 4-12 was: Erskine, Limestone, Anderson, Queens, Barton, St. Andrews, Belmont Abbey and Lees-McRae.