ASC Softball Division Winners Picked to Repeat Titles in 2004
ETBU Catcher Angela Gonzales and TLU Utility Amy Behlen Preseason Division Players of the Year
January 27, 2004
RICHARDSON, Texas---Defending American Southwest Conference softball division champions Louisiana College and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor have been targeted to repeat their championship performances by the conference head coaches and sports information directors in the preseason poll released on Tuesday (Jan. 27).
Winners of last seasons ASC East Division title and the National Christian College Athletic Association national championship, Louisiana College was a unanimous pick as repeat ASC East champion garnering all 12 first-place votes for 72 points. The Lady Wildcats are eligible for the ASC and NCAA-III Softball Championships for the first time in 2004. Four-time defending ASC champion East Texas Baptist University is picked to place second in the ASC East (59 pts.) with the University of Texas at Dallas slated in third (40 pts.). Mississippi College (35 pts.), University of the Ozarks (28 pts.) and LeTourneau University (18 pts.) are projected for fourth through sixth-place finishes in the ASC East.
ASC West Division champion and conference tournament runner-up Mary Hardin-Baylor collected nine of 14 first-place votes and 92 points. The Crusaders outdistanced second-place pick Texas Lutheran University, who earned three first-place votes and 80 points. Third-place pick Howard Payne University received two first-place votes (69 pts.) while last seasons ASC West runner-up Schreiner University was projected at fourth-place (58 pts.). Sul Ross State University lists fifth (37 pts.) while Concordia University at Austin and Hardin-Simmons University, a first-year softball program, both list at sixth-place (27 pts.).
Preseason player of the year award winners were also named in each division. East Texas Baptist senior catcher Angela Gonzales (Magnolia, Texas) was voted ASC East Preseason Player of the Year while Texas Lutheran junior utility player Amy Behlen (Schulenburg, Texas) earned ASC West Preseason Player of the Year honors. Last seasons ASC East Player of the Year and an NFCA All-West Region honoree, Gonzales earned All-ASC and All-ASC East citations after batting .414 and leading the conference with 44 RBI. Behlen, an All-ASC West and conference All-Academic award recipient, led conference hitters with a .443 average and 53 hits last season.
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE 2004 PRESEASON
PRESEASON PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
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