Thomasville, NC- Coker College just edged Limestone College in the women’s softball team preseason poll as voted on by head coaches throughout the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference.  While the teams tied in total points received, Coker took the top spot by collecting two more first place votes (5) than Limestone did overall (3).  If this is any indication of the season to come, every conference game will play a crucial part in determining a regular season champion and conference tournament pairings.   


The Coker College softball team returns All-CVAC 1st team performers in pitcher Somer Bigham and third baseman Kimberly Atkinson, along with CVAC All-Tournament team member Anna Lucas to a team that finished fourth in the CVAC last season. The Cobras completed the season with a record of 29-18 overall; while going 12-8 in conference play. The 2006 season marked the first time since 2003 that Coker has not finished at the top of the regular season standings, a feat that Coach David Hanna and the ladies are not looking to repeat this season. Cobra newcomers catcher Katie McCauley (Forest Hills, MD), catcher Miranda Klees (Murrells Inlet, SC), and shortstop Ashton Williamson, (Pelion, SC) all look to be major contributors to the Cobras success this season.


Limestone College looks to improve on last year’s success in 2007. The team returns eight starters and 12 letter winners from last season while adding a talented recruiting class. The Lady Saints softball team had a great year in 2006. Limestone faced a tough non-conference schedule, reflected in its 28-29 overall record.  However, Limestone stepped-up during league play with a 15-5 conference record while advancing to the championship of the CVAC Tournament only to lose in extra innings to Queens University of Charlotte.  The Lady Saints return four All-CVAC honorees from last season with pitcher Jennifer Casement, second baseman Christina Woolgar, outfielder Keisha Thompson, and pitcher/first baseman Candice Evans.


The Queens University of Charlotte softball team is returning ten players off of last year’s CVAC Regular Season Championship & CVAC Tournament Championship team.  Under new Head Coach Sonya Bright, Royals softball will look to continue its Championship and NCAA success with an emphasis on strong defense.   Returning depth and experience combined with a talented freshmen class could bring great things for the upcoming year.  Seniors Brittany Harkey, Lauren Berst and Rachel Wessman plan to finish their careers strong with back-to-back top finishes.  The Royals are led defensively by two All-CVAC selections from last season.  All-CVAC outfielder Danielle Woodford and infielder Noel Belk will guide the Royals 2007 campaign.


Rounding out the softball preseason poll 4-11 were:  Belmont Abbey, Anderson, Mount Olive, Erskine, Barton, Pfeiffer, Lees-McRae, and St. Andrews respectively.


Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Pre-Season Coaches Poll

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1.         Coker College                                     (5) **             93       

2.         Limestone College                              (3)                  93

3.         Queens University of Charlotte          (3)                  78

4.         Belmont Abbey College                                              71

5.         Anderson University                                                   62

6.         Mount Olive College                                                    45

7.         Erskine College                                                           42

8.         Barton College                                                            35

9.         Pfeiffer University                                                      34

10.       Lees-McRae College                                                    31

11.       St. Andrews Presbyterian College                              21

** Tiebreaking procedure awarded to highest number of first place votes received.


2007 CVAC “Preseason Players to Watch” List

(As selected by the member institutions)


Name:                           School:             Year:    Highlights:

Kayla Williams               Anderson           So.       06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Catcher

Ashley Rogers                Anderson           Sr.        Pitcher

Jen Chambers                Barton               Sr.        Batted .306 in ‘06

Jayme Beacham             Barton               So.       Red-shirt in ’06, 1.79 ERA in ‘05

Jessica Inman                Belmont Abbey  Jr.         06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Catcher

Carrie Markham             Belmont Abbey  So.       06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Pitcher

Erica Rutledge                Belmont Abbey  Jr.         06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Pitcher

Kimberly Atkinson          Coker              Jr.         06 All-CVAC 1st  Team, 3rd Base

Somer Bigham               Coker               Sr.        06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Pitcher

Ashlee LaFontaine          Erskine              Jr.         06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Utility

Katee Knapp                  Erskine             So.       06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Outfield

Sharleen Ashby              Erskine              Sr.        06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, 3rd Base

Dakota Beck                  Lees-McRae       So.       led .395 CVAC batting average leader for regular season, Shortstop

Salle’ Horner                  Lees-McRae       So.       07 Team Captain, 2nd Base

Christina Woolgar           Limestone          So.       06 All-CVAC 1st Team, 2nd Base

Keisha Thompson          Limestone          Jr.         06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, 06 All-Tourney Team, Pitcher

Candice Evans               Limestone          So.       06 CVAC Freshman of the Year & 2nd  Team All-CVAC, Utility

Jennifer Casement         Limestone          Sr.        06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, 06 All-Tourney Team, Pitcher

Tiffanie Pittman              Mount Olive       Sr.        06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Outfield

Bailey Harrell                 Mount Olive       Jr.         06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Catcher

Dacia Ijames                 Pfeiffer              Jr.         2.80 ERA & batted .325 in ‘06

Sarah Moore                  Pfeiffer              So.       Batted .282 in 18 games in ‘06

Danielle Woodford          Queens             So.       06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Outfield
Noel Belk                       Queens             So.       06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, 2nd Base

Mika Tanji                      St. Andrews       Jr.       &