UTC Softball Team Picked to Win SoCon Title

The Chattanooga Mocs have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2016 Southern Conference softball title by the league’s head coaches. Senior second baseman Criket Blanco was named Preseason First-Team All-SoCon and sophomore pitcher Cori Jennings, senior shortstop Alyssa Taylor and senior outfielder Sam Taylor were selected to the Preseason Second-Team All-SoCon.

“I’m happy for our players,” head coach Frank Reed stated. “But it’s preseason. I don’t put a lot of thought into preseason polls. What matters is where we are at the end of the season. We have a target on our backs now.”

Chattanooga earned four first-place votes to take the top spot in the preseason voting. UTC won the 2015 SoCon regular season crown and tournament title, in addition to making its 10th NCAA appearance.

The coaches picked Chattanooga ahead of Samford and Furman in second and third, respectively. Mercer and UNCG was fourth and fifth, followed by Western Carolina and ETSU.

As the lone Moc on the first team, Blanco led UTC last year with 16 multi-hit games, while collecting 48 hits, including nine doubles and seven homeruns. She started every game at second base and was named to the 2015 All-SoCon First Team and NFCA South Region Third Team.

Representing Chattanooga on the second team, Jennings claimed a 14-6 record in the circle last year and was named to the 2015 All-SoCon Freshman Team. Fanning 78 in 127.2 innings, she posted a 2.96 ERA, tossing 10 complete games and three shutouts.

Alyssa Taylor was tabbed SoCon Preseason Second-Team and College Sports Madness SoCon Preseason First-Team her sophomore year. Last year she made 29 starts and 38 appearances at shortstop. She also posted 14 runs, 21 hits and five doubles.

Completing the honors for Chattanooga is three-year center field starter Sam Taylor. In her career, she has been named to the preseason first team once and second team twice. Last season Taylor was the Mocs leadoff hitter, scoring 33 runs, 57 hits and drove in 32 RBI, while also leading the league with 15 doubles.

The Mocs open the season Fri., Feb. 12 as they take on Morgan State and Liberty in the opening day of the NTC Tournament in Clermont, Fla.

Categories: College, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs

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