Drives: ASC Softball Weekly Notebook
February 18, 2003
Around the Conference Report . . .
General Notes: Four American Southwest Conference softball teams opened their 2003 schedules last week with five more taking to the diamond over the next seven days.
Preseason Publicity: ASC defending tournament champion East Texas Baptist capitalized on last season's NCAA-III postseason success and open the 2003 season ranked No. 11 in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Division III preseason coaches poll. The ranking was released February 12 and remains in effect until the NFCA releases its first regular-season ranking on April 2. ETBU finished the 2002 season 38-8 and ranked 12th in the final USA Today/NFCA poll after advancing to the NCAA-III West Regional championship game. The Lady Tigers ended last season with a loss at Pacific Lutheran who is ranked fifth in the 2003 preseason listing. . . . East Texas Baptist opens its 2003 season traveling to NCAA-Division II Ouachita Baptist University on Tuesday (Feb. 18).
Conference Picks: East Texas Baptist and
Mary Hardin-Baylor have been picked to defend their respective
division titles in the 2003 ASC softball race in preseason balloting
by conference head coaches, sports information directors and media.
East Division champion ETBU, 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 was picked to finish second. UMHB,
who won 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.
Minor, Foster Top Players: East 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 First Pitch Tournament: ASC teams face an early season weekend of conference play when the East and West Division squads square-off for the ASC First Pitch Tournament in Irving, Texas, on Friday and Saturday, March 7-8. The two-day tournament pits the 12 teams against each other with each team playing four cross-division games. The tournament will be held at Irving's Southwest Park, the site of the 2003 ASC Championship Tournament. The Friday games are scheduled at Noon, 2:00 and 4:00 while Saturday games are set at 10:00, Noon and 2:00. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students.
Numbers and Records: This ASC website is the place to locate statistics, results and updated league standings. The information is updated throughout the week. Also posted to the website is the conference softball records and annual results, the first compilation of historical softball data since the sport became an ASC championship sport in the 1999 season.
Line Drives . . .
Concordia-Austin (0-2, 0-0 ASC): Concordia-Austin opened its season last Saturday (Feb. 15), dropping both ends of a doubleheader against Houston Baptist. . . . Cold weather postponed the Tornados' season start by a week. CUA was to play at Northwood University on February 8, but cold temperatures delayed the opener until last Saturday's home debut vs. HBU.
East Texas Baptist (0-0, 0-0 ASC): The Lady Tigers list No. 11 in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Top 25. . . . ETBU opens on the road with doubleheaders at NCAA-II Ouachita Baptist on Tuesday (Feb. 18), Trinity University on Friday (Feb. 21) and Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday (Feb. 22).
Howard Payne (0-4, 0-0 ASC): The Lady Jackets offense boasts a trio of .400-plus hitters -- Jessica Wright (.500), Alissa Cordes (.462) and Dayberly Hopper (.444). Cordes has a team-leading six hits, including a double in the second game of the Tarleton State doubleheader (Feb. 11). . . . Kerrie Short takes over head coaching duties at Howard Payne.
LeTourneau (0-0, 0-0 ASC): LeTourneau will be competing for a spot in the ASC Tournament as a first-year full NCAA-III member. . . . The LadyJackets had their season-opener postponed by cold temperatures, and will begin the 2003 season Wednesday (Feb. 19) at Northwood.
Louisiana College (0-0, 0-0 ASC): Louisiana College is scheduled to begin its season Thursday (Feb. 20) hosting Belhaven College in a doubleheader (Feb. 20). . . . The Lady Wildcats are ineligible for the ASC Tournament as they complete the final year of NCAA-III provisional membership.
Mary Hardin-Baylor (4-0, 0-0 ASC): The Crusaders opened the season with a sweep of Trinity on Saturday (Feb. 15) after the scheduled season opener against Northwood was rained out Friday (Feb. 14). . . . Preseason ASC West Player of the year Megan Foster drilled a triple in the first game of the Trinity doubleheader. She finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. . . . Former Lady Crusader Kasey Blomquist takes over head coaching duties at UMHB.
Mississippi College (0-0, 0-0 ASC): Mississippi College, runner-up at last season's ASC Tournament, begins season play Wednesday at Millsaps College (Feb. 19).
Ozarks (1-1, 0-0 ASC): The Lady Eagles split their season opener against NCAA-Div. II Ouachita Baptist (Feb. 11), taking a 5-0 loss in the first and posting a 3-1 win in the nightcap. . . . Regan Brown leads UO with three hits while Leigh Thompson has a pair of doubles.
Schreiner (0-0, 0-0 ASC): The Mountainers will be competing for a spot in the ASC Tournament as a first-year full NCAA-III member. . . . SU was weathered-out of the February 1-2 Galveston College Whitecaps Tournament, and will see its first action of the season next Monday (Feb. 24) at Texas Wesleyan.
Sul Ross State (0-0, 0-0 ASC): Sul Ross State opens the season with Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-22) doubleheaders at Western New Mexico University.
UT Dallas (0-0, 0-0 ASC): UT Dallas will be competing for a spot in the ASC Tournament as a first-year full NCAA-III member. . . . The Comets head to south central Texas to open the season Saturday at Trinity University (Feb. 22) with a Sunday twinbill at Texas Lutheran (Feb. 23).
Texas Lutheran (0-0, 0-0 ASC): The Bulldogs will be competing for a spot in the ASC Tournament as a first-year full NCAA-III member. . . . Texas Lutheran begins 2003 play hosting UT Dallas on Sunday (Feb. 23).
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