JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 25, 2012) – Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) enjoyed a breakout season a year ago as a sophomore, and on Wednesday afternoon the junior infielder was recognized by the league coaches as she was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team. Along with receiving all-conference honors, Lower was also named Player of the Year in the fan voting on Facebook.
Lower raised her average over 110 points from her freshman to sophomore season after finishing the campaign with a .353 batting average en route to receiving First Team All-Atlantic Sun honors. The Sebring, Fla. native led the Bucs and ranked fifth in the conference in hitting, while also tied for the team lead in hits (47). Lower put up impressive numbers against A-Sun foes – where she hit .360 – and recorded 18 of her 47 hits against league competition. While her .353 batting average was the third highest mark in program history, Lower also registered 11 multi-hit games and hit .417 with a .625 slugging percentage as the leadoff hitter for the Bucs in their final seven games of the season.
Along with being placed on the all-conference team, Lower also beat out Jacksonville’s Sarah Simon in the fan voting for Player of the Year on Facebook. Lower tallied 258 fan votes, while Simon – who was named Player of the Year by the league coaches – finished second in the fan vote with 98 selections. As Simon was tabbed Player of the Year, teammate Sarah Sigrest was named Preseason Pitcher of the Year; however, Lipscomb’s Whitney Kiihnl was the fan selection for the top pitcher.
Meanwhile, in team voting, reigning regular season and tournament champion, Jacksonville, was the preseason favorite as the Dolphins edged out Lipscomb by nine points, 99 to 90. Jacksonville received nine of the ten first-place votes and was also picked to win the tournament championship with six votes. Florida Gulf Coast rounded out the top three with 76 votes.
The Bucs were picked 10th with 16 total votes.
The ETSU softball team has begun practice for the 2012 season and open up the campaign on Saturday, Feb. 11 against Western Carolina in the Georgia State First Pitch Classic in Panthersville, Ga.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.