@Patriot_sb picked to win 2018 ASC championship

Thursday, January 18, 2018

TYLER – The UT Tyler softball team is picked to win the American Southwest Conference after receiving 23 of 26 first-place votes from the league's head coaches and sports information directors. Additionally, Andrea Gonzales, Hannah Moore and Colleen Bentke were identified as ASC Players to Watch in the conference’s preseason release.

UT Tyler is coming off a season where it went 46-6 overall, 29-2 in ASC play and advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championships for the third straight season. The Patriots won the ASC regular-season title for the fourth straight season last year before finishing third at the NCAA DIII national tournament after winning the Tyler Regional and Tyler Super Regional to advance to Oklahoma City. In this year’s poll, UT Dallas is picked second with one first-place vote followed by East Texas Baptist, UMHB, Louisiana College, Concordia, Hardin-Simmons, Belhaven, LeTourneau, Sul Ross, Howard Payne, McMurry and Ozarks.

“This poll is a reflection of last year’s team and our program’s tradition,” UT Tyler head coach Mike Reed said. “This conference has never had more balance which will make this season highly competitive. I am truly most excited to see this 2018 team continue to work to learn who we are as a team and what our new formula for success will be.”

UT Tyler began practice on Monday to start the 14th season in program history and will open the year with a road doubleheader on Feb. 14 against Southwestern in Georgetown. The Patriots will then travel to Abilene to play McMurry in a three-game ASC series from Feb. 16-17 before opening their home schedule against Concordia on Feb. 23-24 at Suddenlink Field. UT Tyler will host ASC series against CTX, Sul Ross, Louisiana College, ETBU and Ozarks and will travel to play Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belhaven, Howard Payne, UT Dallas and LeTourneau.

Gonzales and Moore are returners for the Patriots, while Bentke is a pitcher who transfers in from Blinn College. The three ASC Watch List Players were identified by Reed and his staff and are on a list that includes 23 players who are returning all-conference selections. Gonzales earned All-ASC honors last season for the Patriots after hitting .407 with 59 totals hits and 41 RBI. A senior from Elgin, Gonzales had 16 doubles and one home run in 2017. Moore returns after a junior season where she hit .308 with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs and drove in 35 runs. A shortstop from Cy Fair, Moore had a .975 fielding percentage with only three errors and 62 putouts for the Patriots. Bentke is a pitcher from Brenham who earned second-team All-American honors last year at Blinn College where she was also a first-team all-conference and Region IX first-team selection.

“We have so many new faces and returning only three starters from last season, that we know we will need everyone’s contributions along with these  three to reach our potential,” Reed said. “These three represent a team who believes in the UT Tyler way. The team as a whole from returners to new players, are excited to continue the hard-working tradition that drives this program.”

2018 ASC Softball Preseason Poll

Rank Team (1st place votes) Pts. 2017 Record (ASC)
1. UT Tyler (23) 332 46-6 (28-2)
2. UT Dallas (1) 294 36-10 (24-6)
3. East Texas Baptist (1) 290 38-11 (25-5)
4. Mary Hardin-Baylor 257 26-16 (20-10)
5. Louisiana College 216 26-17 (18-12)
6. Concordia Texas 205 19-23 (12-18)
7. Hardin-Simmons (1) 170 17-22 (11-19)
8. Belhaven # 149 18-20 (n/a)
9. LeTourneau 134 15-25 (10-20)
10. Sul Ross State 106 13-27 (8-22)
11. Howard Payne 85 7-31-1 (5-25)
12. McMurry % 74 n/a (n/a)
13. Ozarks 70 6-31 (4-26)

# Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship/NCAA Tournament (Div. III Provisional)
% Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship/NCAA Tournament (Div. III Reclassifying)
2018 ASC Softball Preseason Players to Watch
Players selected by their respective head coach

Name Cl. Pos. School
Makayla Reed Sr. 3B Belhaven
Jordan Herring Sr. P Belhaven
Cassidy Blount So. C Belhaven
Jorden Russell Jr. P Concordia Texas
Haley Dennett Jr. SS Concordia Texas
Brittani Whitten * Sr. OF Concordia Texas
Linzie Lewis * Sr. 2B East Texas Baptist
Jordan Anderson * Sr. P East Texas Baptist
Rocki Tello * Sr. P East Texas Baptist
Kirsten Kenyon * Sr. SS Hardin-Simmons
Lexie Allen * So. P Hardin-Simmons
Hillarie Carpenter Fr. 1B Hardin-Simmons
Ashlin Roach * Jr. SS LeTourneau
Macey Mize Jr. C LeTourneau
Faith Genoway * Jr. P LeTourneau
Savannah Settle * Sr. P Louisiana College
Mattie Stine * Sr. 1B Louisiana College
Sam Cetta So. SS/3B Louisiana College
Karen Tennis * Sr. P Mary Hardin-Baylor
Devon Walter * Sr. OF Mary Hardin-Baylor
Makenzi Dawson * Jr. SS Mary Hardin-Baylor
Rachel Ripley Jr. 1B McMurry
Adrienne Nairn Jr. 3B McMurry
Avery McDaniel Fr. SS McMurry
Brooke Hoffsommer * Sr. UT Ozarks
Hannah Oler * Sr. P/UT Ozarks
Katie Ventress * Sr. P/DP Ozarks
Jackie Gonzalez * Sr. P Sul Ross State
Zuriah Leyva * Jr. 3B Sul Ross State
Darrian Doederlien * Sr. OF Sul Ross State
Melissa Livermore * Jr. OF UT Dallas
Stefanie Polderman * Sr. OF UT Dallas
Jessica Vlasek * So. IF UT Dallas
Andrea Gonzales * Sr. 1B UT Tyler
Colleen Bentke Jr. P UT Tyler
Hannah Moore * Sr. UT UT Tyler

*2017 All-Conference