SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 21, 2004) -- The Southern Conference announced Tuesday its 2004 softball preseason all-conference teams, as voted on by the league's head coaches. East Tennessee State led the balloting with eight players represented.
Senior pitcher Tiffany McVay (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.), sophomore outfielder Janine Sprague Hillsborough, N.C.), and senior designated player Julia Chance (Knoxville, Tenn.) were the Bucs' first team members. Sprague was a first-team selection last year after setting single-season school records in batting average (.327), on base percentage (.417), runs (33), and hits (53). She was the only freshman to start in all 54 games.
McVay earned second-team accolades last year, including all-tournament team recognition following ETSU's runner-up finish at the 2003 SoCon Softball Championships in Chattanooga. McVay was the named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2003. She went 14-10 on the mound with a 2.36 ERA in 178.1 innings pitched. She had five shutouts during her junior campaign and led the team in strikeouts (83). On offense, McVay stole 10 bases in 11 attempts and tied for the team lead with five homeruns.
Chance played in 40 games last season. Defensively, she helped anchor the middle infield and turned eight double plays in addition to 58 assists and 73 putouts, all career highs. Chance also received special recognition by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), given to student-athletes with over a 3.5 grade point average.
ETSU's second-team members were: senior first baseman Miranda Byerly (Candler, N.C.), senior utility player Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.), junior outfielder Danielle Spetar(Knoxville, Tenn.), junior third baseman Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.), and sophomore catcher Jessica Lonsinger (Dale City, Va.).
The Buccaneers will open their season on Friday, February 13 when they will host Mars Hill at Kiwanis Park.
2004 SoCon Preseason All-Conference Softball Teams
P Rachael Stern, College of Charleston
P Tiffany McVay, East Tennessee State
C Samantha Steiner, Georgia Southern
1B Jenny Gustin, Elon
2B Joni Gomez, UNC Greensboro
SS Jennifer Hubbard, UNC Greensboro
3B Melissa Ramirez, Chattanooga
OF Amanda Cone, College of Charleston
OF Janine Sprague, East Tennessee State
OF LaKerah Barr, Furman
DP Julia Chance, East Tennessee State
U Jamie Dupont, Elon
P Natalie Smith, College of Charleston
P Jordan Arnold, Appalachian State
C Sarah Gough, Appalachian State
Jessica Lonsinger, East Tennessee State
1B Miranda Byerly, East Tennessee State
2B Brooke Flowers, College of Charleston
SS Jacquie Rothey, College of Charleston
3B Lindsay Lane, East Tennessee State
OF Jessica Swearengin, Elon
OF Danielle Spetar, East Tennessee State
OF Wendy Lewis, Appalachian State
U Sheryl Clark, East Tennessee State