January 25, 2012

North Georgia Tabbed as PBC Preseason Favorite for Fourth Straight Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Joey Daniels, jddani9448@northgeorgia.edu

AUGUSTA, GA – For the fourth straight year the North Georgia softball team was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the Peach Belt Conference.

After capturing three straight Peach Belt regular season and conference tournament championships, the Saints are once again the coach's favorite, receiving eight first-place votes and two second-place votes.

The Saints have experience and talent aplenty returning for this season.  North Georgia has the reigning Daktronics Pitcher of the Year and the PBC Pitcher of the year in Jessica Coan. The senior led the league in strikeouts last season with 334 and finished with a record of 27-5 along with a PBC-best 1.09 ERA.

Also returning for the preseason favorites are seniors Pilar Harden and Hilary Cox. Both were named to the PBC pre-season all-conference team yesterday afternoon.

Cox batted .338 with 14 home runs last season before battling through an injury, the native of Douglasville, Georgia, is at full strength this year.

Harden batted .303 with 11 home runs, while drawing 34 walks. From Watkinsville, Georgia, the senior will again be patrolling centerfield.

The three-time PBC Coach of the Year Mike Davenport and his team have been the preseason favorite for the past four years now. The Saints have not disappointed, winning the conference and making three straight appearances in the NCAA Division II College World Series.

Armstrong Atlantic received three first-place votes while being picked to finish second in the league for the 2012 season. Armstrong made an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament a year ago.

Flagler was picked to finish third, followed by Augusta State, Columbus State and USC Aiken, respectively.

North Georgia begins their quest for a fourth straight conference championship when they take the field on February 11 in the first-ever NGCSU Loyal Blue Classic. The Saints open their season against Tusculum College.

The first Peach Belt Conference game for North Georgia will be on March 13, when they travel to Florida to take on Flagler College.

Rank Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Total
1. North Georgia 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 98
2. Armstrong Atlantic State 3 5 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 88
3. Flagler 0 2 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 77
4. Augusta State 0 1 3 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 73
5. Columbus State 0 1 3 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 71
6. USC Aiken 0 0 0 2 3 3 2 0 0 0 55
7. Francis Marion 0 0 0 0 0 5 4 1 0 0 44
8. Georgia College 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 4 2 0 36
9. UNC Pembroke 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 2 1 31
10. Lander 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 3 18
11. Georgia Southwestern 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 7 14