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Softball Picked Sixth In Preseason South Atlantic Conference Poll

HARROGATE, TN -- The South Atlantic Conference released the 2012 softball preseason coaches' poll on Thursday afternoon with the Lady Railsplitters selected to finish sixth in the league. A season ago, Lincoln Memorial University finished 6-12 in the SAC and 29-24 overall.

Defending champion South Atlantic Conference champion Lenoir Rhyne narrowly missed unanimous selection to win the 2012 title as they received nine first-place votes. Carson-Newman was a distant second with 84 total points. Wingate, Catawba, and Tusculum took the next three spots, followed by the Lady Railsplitters who finished with one first-place vote and 48 total points.

LMU received a couple individual preseason nods as Railsplitter outfielder, Brianna Mulkey, was voted to the preseason All-Conference First Team. Last season, Mulkey started all 53 games and compiled a .361 average. She finished with 56 hits and a .421 on-base percentage. She led the South Atlantic Conference with 39 stolen bases which finished ten ahead of her closer competitor in that department.

Joining Mulkey on the preseason All-Conference teams, Lady Railsplitter infielder Bridget Eicher was named to the Second Team. Eicher has been a staple in the middle of the offense in her time at LMU. In her 2011 campaign, Eicher hit .295 with 29 RBIs and seven homeruns. As a power hitter, she was been extraordinary with her .496 slugging percentage.

The Lady Railsplitters kick start the 2012 season with a four-game weekend starting on February 4th as they host Bellermine University. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. They will host Milligan College on February 5th at 1 p.m.

2012 SAC Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Team Points (1st-place votes)
1. Lenoir-Rhyne 99 (9)
2. Carson-Newman 84
3. Wingate 77
4. Catawba 71
5. Tusculum 57
6. Lincoln Memorial 48 (1)
7. Anderson 37
8. Mars Hill 34
9. Newberry 25
10. Brevard 18

2012 SAC Softball Preseason All-Conference Team
First Team
C - Brianna Shoemake, Carson-Newman
P - Mary Shealy, Carson-Newman
P - Dawon Millwood, Lenoir-Rhyne
1B - Jessica Fellmeth, Lenoir-Rhyne
2B - Carlee Carpenter, Lenoir-Rhyne
SS - Abby Child, Anderson
3B - Natalie Haithcox, Mars Hill
OF - Brianna Mulkey, Lincoln Memorial
OF - Jody Mizelle, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF - Kim Whaley, Carson-Newman
Utility - Kayla Myers, Catawba
DP - Amber Duncan, Anderson

Second Team
C - Brittany Barrineau, Wingate
P - Emily Huneycutt, Catawba
P - Elizabeth Johnson, Tusculum
1B - Allison Justice, Catawba
2B - Ashley Roof, Newberry
SS - Bridget Eicher, Lincoln Memorial
3B - Haily Jarman, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF - Ashley McCurry, Mars Hill
OF - Ashley Burke, Tusculum
OF - Brittany Fowler, Brevard
Utility - Chelsi Mallory, Brevard
DP - Emily Boykin, Brevard

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