Feb. 1, 2006
ATLANTA – Despite being the defending Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament champions, and returning seven starters and two starting pitchers, the 24th-ranked Georgia Tech softball team was picked to finish second in the 2006 Preseason ACC Softball Poll, as voted on by the league’s eight head coaches, announced on Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets earned three first place votes, but were five points shy of top pick Florida State who had one first place vote.
The Seminoles and Jackets are followed by Virginia Tech (three first place votes), North Carolina (one first place vote), NC State, Virginia, Maryland and ACC newcomer Boston College.
Returning to the starting lineup for the Jackets will be seniors Christine Sheridan and Amy Hosier, juniors Caitlin Lever, Daisy Paez and Sarah Wood, sophomores Savannah Brown, Kacey Ivey and Aileen Morales.
Sheridan, a native of Pasadena, Md., led the ACC in batting last season with a .380 average and earned first team All-ACC honors. She started in 57 of 58 games played in for Tech at shortstop and earned the team’s Best Defensive Player Award.
Hosier led Tech with 39 runs batted in last season and garnered Easton All-America third team honors, first team All-ACC honors and was selected to the ACC All-Tournament Team. The Lakewood, Colo., native hit .356 for the Jackets and stole 16 bases, starting most of her games in left field.
Lever, a native of Amherst, N.Y., ranked 26th in the nation with 31 stolen bases and earned first team All-ACC honors after starting in all 65 games in right field. She hit .324 and scored 33 runs for the Jackets.
Paez, a native of Loxahatchee, Fla., started in Tech’s final 21 games as the designated player. She smacked four home runs in just 52 at bats and drove in 13 runs.
Wood was the No. 2 pitcher for the Jackets last season and went 15-4 in the circle. The Marietta, Ga., native ended the season with a 2.07 earned run average and fanned 71 batters in 115 innings pitched.
Brown, a catcher from El Cajon, Calif., started in 51 games for Tech and hit .270. She led the Jackets with six home runs and drove in 34 runs.
Ivey, a native of Douglasville, Ga., started in 51 games in center field. She hit .274 for the Jackets and stole 19 bases in 21 attempts.
Morales, a second baseman from Columbus, Ga., was named ACC Co-Freshman of the Year after finishing third in the nation with 44 stolen bases in 49 attempts, a single-season Tech record. She hit .297 as the leadoff hitter and was named first team All-Southeast Region and second team All-ACC.
The 24th-ranked Yellow Jackets will open regular season play against No. 18 Missouri, Feb. 10-11, at Glenn Field. The three-game series will begin with a single game at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
Preseason ACC Softball PollRk Team 2005 Record Pts.1. Florida State (1) 35-28 (11-6) 542. Georgia Tech (3) 51-14 (11-4) 493. Virginia Tech (3) 44-25 (4-13) 474. North Carolina (1) 38-29 (9-9) 415. NC State 41-25 (7-7) 376. Virginia 31-32 (9-8) 287. Maryland 28-21 (5-9) 218. Boston College 20-25 (6-10*) 11
* – denotes Big East Record.