Angelo State was picked to repeat as Lone Star Conference softball champions as the 2013 preseason poll was unveiled by league officials on Wednesday.
ASU received 19 first-place votes and 251 overall points in the poll selected by LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives. The Rambelles, who posted a 48-11 overall record in 2012 and made their eighth NCAA Division II regional appearance, won the league title for the sixth time.
In addition to ASU being tabbed to repeat, the individual honorees were duplicated from last year’s preseason awards.
Once again, Texas Woman’s junior Bailey Vrazel was named LSC Preseason Player of the Year. The shortstop from Danbury, Texas, started all 54 games last season for the Pioneers and led the team in batting average (.414), runs (61), walks (31), on-base percentage (.514) and stolen bases (75). For the second consecutive year, Vrazel led all collegiate softball players in steals and broke her own TWU and Lone Star Conference single-season record for stolen bases. She also set a new single-season school records in runs and walks.
Incarnate Word’s Briana Sanchez claimed LSC Preseason Pitcher of the Year honors for the second straight year. The senior from San Antonio, was named to the all-tournament team for her performance during the Cardinals tournament championship run last season. Sanchez was 17-11 in the circle with a 3.43 earned run average and 196 strikeouts in 202.1 innings last season.
TWU was ranked second in the poll with five first-place mentions for 220 points. West Texas A&M was third with 181 points to edge Abilene Christian, who was fourth with one first-place nod and 176 points.
UIW, the defending tournament champions, picked up the remaining first-place vote to share fifth place with Midwestern State with 151 points each. Tarleton State (134), Cameron (66), Texas A&M-Kingsville (55) and Eastern New Mexico (45) rounded out the poll.
The 2013 season starts February 1 with LSC teams playing a single round-robin schedule with a three-game series against every other team. Each series shall consist of a doubleheader one day and single 7-inning game the other day.
The overall LSC Champion will be the team(s) with the best winning percentage in regular-season conference games, while the winner of the postseason championship will be recognized as LSC Tournament Champion and receive the league’s automatic qualification into NCAA postseason. The single-elimination championship will be played May 3-4-5, in Canyon, Texas as part of the LSC Spring Championships Festival.
Information for this story provided by LSC Media.