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East Texas Baptist, Mary Hardin-Baylor Tabbed Favorites in 2003 American Southwest Conference Softball
January 28, 2003

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RICHARDSON, Texas --- East Texas Baptist University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor have been picked to defend their respective division titles in the 2003 American Southwest Conference softball race in preseason balloting by conference head coaches, sports information directors and media.

East Division champion East Texas Baptist, who won the ASC Softball Tournament and advanced to the NCAA-III West Regional Championship game a year ago (38-8, 22-2 ASC), collected 10 first-place votes and 80 points in the preseason poll. Louisiana College, picked to finish second, earned four first-place votes and 74 points. Conference tournament runner-up Mississippi College was third in the poll (50 pts.) while University of the Ozarks (37), University of Texas at Dallas (35) and LeTourneau (18) were picked to place fourth through sixth in the East Division.

Mary Hardin-Baylor, winners of last season's West Division title, totaled seven first-place votes and 71 points in the preseason poll to outdistance Howard Payne, who garnered three first-place votes and 58 points, and third-place pick Texas Lutheran, who totaled two first-place votes and 57 points. Schreiner (44 pts., 1 first-place vote), Concordia-Austin (24) and Sul Ross State (19) are predicted to finish fourth through sixth in the West Division.

Tonya MinorMegan FosterEast Texas Baptist junior outfielder Tonya Minor (Bullard, Texas) was named East Division Preseason Player of the Year and Mary Hardin-Baylor senior shortstop Megan Foster (Marble Falls, Texas) the West Division Preseason Player of the Year. An NFCA First-Team All-America and All-West Region selection a year ago, Minor batted .451 and drove-in 25 runs in conference play to earn All-Conference and All-East awards. A three-time All-Conference selection, Foster earned her second West Player of the Year award after batting .452 and stealing 18 bases vs. the conference in the 2002 season.

ASC 2003 SOFTBALL PRESEASON POLL

East Division

  Team (first place votes) Points 2002 Records
1. East Texas Baptist (10) 80 38-8, 22-2 ASC
2. Louisiana College (4) 74 32-8, 20-4 ASC
3. Mississippi College 50 26-14, 14-9 ASC
4. Univ. of the Ozarks 37 22-18, 10-14 ASC
5. UT Dallas 35 9-28, 5-18 ASC
6. LeTourneau 18 5-25, 5-19 ASC

West Division

  Team (first place votes) Points 2002 Records
1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (7) 71 25-17, 18-6 ASC
2 Howard Payne (3) 58 24-17, 16-8 ASC
3 Texas Lutheran (2) 57 16-22, 12-12 ASC
4 Schreiner (1) 44 15-19, 13-11 ASC
5 Concordia-Austin 24 8-26, 6-18 ASC
6 Sul Ross State 19 4-34, 2-22 ASC

ASC East Division Preseason Player of the Year: Tonya Minor, OF, Jr., East Texas Baptist University

ASC West Division Preseason Player of the Year: Megan Foster, SS, Sr., University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

* NOTES: Coaches, SIDs and media were allowed to vote for their own team and player. 14 ballots cast in the East Division, 13 ballots cast in the West Division.


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