Freedom New Mexico
RICHARDSON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University has been picked 10th in the 12-team Lone Star Conference in baseball and fifth in the seven-team LSC South Division in softball in preseason polls released by the conference office.
The polls were voted on by coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives. Seasons begin today for many teams in both sports.
The LSC abandoned its divisional format this season and will play a round-robin schedule consisting of 11 four-game series. Abilene Christian received 17 of 27 first-place votes and was chosen the preseason baseball favorite with 324 points to 309 points and nine first-place votes for Angelo State.
Despite finishing near the bottom with 107 points, the Greyhounds were accorded the remaining first-place vote.
Central Oklahoma catcher Breck Draper was chosen the conference’s preseason player of the year after earning second-team NCAA Division II All-American honors last season with 20 homers and 70 RBIs.
Abilene Christian’s Trey Watten was the preseason pitcher of the year. Watten, who also plays third base for the Wildcats, compiled a 10-0 mound record in 2007.
Defending champions Angelo State in the South and Midwestern State in the North were chosen to repeat their titles in 2008. The Rambelles were a unanimous choice of the 18 South Division voters, compiling 126 points to 97 for runnerup Tarleton State.
Angelo set an LSC record for wins in 2007, going 53-13, and made its second Division II World Series appearnace in four seasons. The Rambelles return nine seniors and four All-Americans, including South preseason pitcher of the year Kari Galm and preseason player of the year Macy Baker.
Midwestern State garnered 99 points and nine of 16 first-place votes in the North to edge out Central Oklahoma (93, three first-place votes) and Southeastern Oklahoma (79, three first-place votes). Midwestern’s Kristen Stonecipher was the North’s preseason player of the year while Central Oklahoma’s Alli Blake was the preseason pitcher of the year.