|Morello Earns Preseason Honors, Stetson Picked 8th|
DeLand, Fla. - Stetson sophomore center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.) was named to the 2012 Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Conference softball team on Wednesday; the 2011 A-Sun All-Freshman Team and Second Team honoree is the youngest member of this year's preseason squad. The Hatters were predicted to finish eighth in the A-Sun coaches poll.
Morello batted .344 as a freshman with one home run, 14 RBI and a conference-high 28 stolen bases (the second-highest total by a Stetson rookie in school history) in 2011. She started all 50 games in center field as well as in the leadoff spot in Head Coach Frank Griffin's lineup and ended up as the only freshman in the league to make one of the two overall All-Atlantic Sun Teams. As a result, Morello is the only non-junior or senior to earn preseason honors for 2012.
Stetson, which is poised to bounce back from a tough 2011 campaign in which it finished 19-31 overall and 4-16 in A-Sun action, earned 30 points in the preseason head coaches poll, placing it ahead of Belmont (20) and ETSU (16). Defending regular season and tournament champion Jacksonville led the way with 99 points and nine first place votes with Lipscomb taking the other first place nod and second place at 90 points. Also tabbed ahead of the Hatters were FGCU (76), USC Upstate (66), Kennesaw State (64), North Florida (48) and Mercer (41).
Jacksonville catcher Sarah Simon was named Preseason A-Sun Player of the Year with fellow Dolphin Sarah Sigrest taking the Preseason A-Sun Pitcher of the Year award. Joining them and Morello on the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team were infielders Sam Lower (ETSU), Amanda Schmidt (Jacksonville), Sarah Stukes (Mercer) and Sharon Swanson (Kennesaw State) as well as outfielders Caroline Mason (Lipscomb) and Sara Sikes (Kennesaw State), DP/utility player Jessica Cross (Kennesaw State) and pitcher Whitney Kiihnl (Lipscomb).
The Hatters open the season at 4:00 pm Friday, February 10 against South Dakota in the Stetson Lead-Off Classic at Patricia Wilson Field. For ticket information call the Stetson Athletics ticket office at (386) 822-8110.
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