NORFOLK, Va.- The Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference announced its pre-season softball predictions on Friday. The conference's coaches and sports directors voted to predict the conference's division winners, player of the year, pitcher of the year and the MEAC All-Conference team.
The Bethune-Cookman Lady Wildcats were picked to repeat as southern division champions. Bethune-Cookman has won three straight MEAC softball titles. Last season, The Lady Wildcats posted a 30-31 record and were 11-4 in MEAC play. In 2013, the Wildcats welcome 10 returning starters and 4 newcomers to the program.
Savannah State was picked to finish second in the southern division followed by Florida A&M in third. North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State and North Carolina Central complete the southern division predictions.
Delaware State is predicted to win the northern division. DSU won the title a year ago after going 14-3 in conference play and a 25-18-1 overall record.
Norfolk State was picked to finish second in the northern division followed by Hampton and Coppin State. Howard, Morgan State and Maryland Eastern Shore round out the northern division preseason predictions.
As for individual awards, Norfolk State's Haley Ward is was selected as the conference's Preseason Player of the Year. Being an All-MEAC first-team selection, Ward played in 46 games last season while posting a .409 batting average in 137 plate appearances. Last season, Ward lead her team with 36 runs, 56 hits, 11 doubles and a.547 slugging percentage while being selected the MEAC Rookie of the Week two times.
Savannah State's Madison Hedderly, has been voted the conference's Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Last season, Hedderly led the conference with 192 strikeouts, had a record of 18-12, and posted a career-best 1.92 ERA, in 215 innings. She was also a 2012 MEAC first-team selection, won the MEAC Pitcher of the Week three times and won the MEAC Player of the Week once in 2012.
Along with Ward and Hedderly, these ladies were also picked to round out the All-MEAC team:
-Jennifer Lindsey (FAMU),
-Sabrina Edmonds (NCAT),
-Jax Woodward (NCAT),
-India Morgan (SSU),
-Amber Hallman (SSU),
-Aurelia Gamch (B-CU),
-Michelle Banuelos-Smith (B-CU),
-Morgan Boyd (NSU),
-Morgan King (UMES).
Conference play begins March 23-24 with all MEAC northern and southern division teams in action. Mark your calendars for May 9-11 as the MEAC Softball Championship is set to take place as the Ormond Beach Sports Complex in Ormond Beach, Fla.
For more information on MEAC Softball or other sponsored sports, log on to www.MEACsports.com.