Two UWA softball players named Pre-Season All-GSC

Published 2:52 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The University of West Alabama softball team has been picked to finish fourth by league coaches in the 2014 Gulf South Conference preseason poll, while first baseman Anna Shartzer and outfielder Whitney Brown have been named to the preseason All-GSC team.

Alabama Huntsville received six first place votes to lead the poll, with Valdosta State and North Alabama projected to finish second and third, respectively.

“After where we finished last season and losing some quality starters, it’s no surprise of where we were picked,” said UWA head coach Will Atkinson. “Many teams may not consider us a threat this season, but we will see where we stack up this weekend.”

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Shartzer is coming off a 2013 season that earned her a long list of honors. The senior from Gulf Shores, Ala., was named to the Daktronics All-South Region First Team, National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-South Region First Team, All-GSC team as well as the conference’s “Top Ten” list.

Through 50 games, she led the team with 63 hits. She compiled a .380 average with 34 runs and three home runs. In the field she led UWA with 315 putouts and 12 fielding double-plays.

A senior from Fyffe, Brown led the Tigers with 103 total bases, 48 RBI and 11 home runs. She followed Shartzer as the team leader with 53 hits. She ended the season with 13 doubles, two triples and a .351 average.

“We’re expecting big things from these ladies this year,” Atkinson said. “This was a well-deserved honor for both of them. We are looking forward to seeing them lead our ball club this season.”

North, an outfielder, comes to UWA by way of West Valley College (Calif.), while second baseman Whiddon joins from Shelton State Community College. Hines, a third baseman, is a 2013 graduate of Niceville High School.

UWA opens its season in a doubleheader against Georgia College in the 2014 Bobcat Bash hosted on Saturday. The first game is set for 10 a.m. at the Peeler Complex.