USC Upstate Voted Second in ASUN Softball Preseason Poll, Obier Named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

January 18, 2018 at 10:49 am

LakePoint, Ga. – Megan Obier has been voted the ASUN Preseason Defensive Player of the Year while the USC Upstate softball team has been tabbed to finish second by the league coaches in the ASUN Preseason Softball Coaches Poll, it was announced this afternoon by the conference office.

USC Upstate received two first-place votes in the preseason poll for 43 points and the second place designation. Along with the second place prediction, the Spartans had three players earn ASUN Preseason All-Conference honors in Obier, Ansley Gilstrap and Brittany Case. Gilstrap was a First Team All-Conference performer last season while Obier and Case were both named Second Team All-Conference.

The reigning ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, Obier started all 58 games last season at second base and recorded 19 RBI. The junior also compiled a .331 slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Defensively, she tallied a .980 fielding percentage, while committing just three errors during the season.

Gilstrap, last year’s ASUN Tournament MVP, led the team offensively with a .339 batting average, three home runs and 31 RBI. She ranked fourth in the ASUN in stolen bases after finishing 32-for-34 on the year.

Case played in all 58 games last season with 56 starts and hit .337 at the plate, which ranked second-best on the team. The junior recorded a .400 on-base percentage along with two home runs and 25 RBI.

Kennesaw State received four first-place votes and is the favorite to win the ASUN this season with 46 points. Florida Gulf Coast is third with one first-place vote and 31 points followed by Lipscomb in fourth with 29 points. North Florida has been voted fifth with 23 points, while Jacksonville (6th place, 13 points) and Stetson (7th place, 11 points) round out the preseason poll.

Navia Penrod of North Florida has been named the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year, while Alley Cutting of Kennesaw State and Lipscomb’s Mandy Jordan were tabbed the Preseason Pitchers of the Year.

USC Upstate opens its 2018 season on Thursday, February 8 with a doubleheader on the road against Gardner-Webb. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The Spartans have won seven conference championships in the last five years, taking the ASUN Tournament titles in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and the ASUN Regular Season championship in 2014, 2015 and 2017. The success has culminated in five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 2013-17, playing in the Tuscaloosa Regional (2013-15), Auburn Regional (2016) and Knoxville Regional (2017).

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ASUN Preseason Softball Coaches Poll
Pl.           Team (1st Place Votes)                                   Points
1.            Kennesaw State (4)                                         46
2.            USC Upstate (2)                                                43
3.            Florida Gulf Coast (1)                                      31
4.            Lipscomb                                                             29
5.            North Florida                                                      23
6.            Jacksonville                                                        13
7.            Stetson                                                                11

ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team

Riley Randolph, P, Florida Gulf Coast
Alley Cutting, P, Kennesaw State
Mandy Jordan, P, Lipscomb
Heather Roberts, C, Jacksonville
Kayla McGory, INF, North Florida
Navia Penrod, INF, North Florida
Ansley Gilstrap, INF, USC Upstate
Megan Obier, INF, USC Upstate
Kelsey Huff, OF, Florida Gulf Coast
Dominica Cocuzza, OF, North Florida
Brittany Case, OF, USC Upstate
Madison Ragan, UTIL, Jacksonville

Player of the Year:  Navia Penrod, North Florida
Defensive Player of the Year:  Megan Obier, USC Upstate
Pitchers of the Year:
  Alley Cutting, Kennesaw State; Mandy Jordan, Lipscomb