Bobcats tabbed third in Conference Carolinas preseason poll

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College softball team is picked to finish third in the race for the 2012 Conference Carolinas regular season title after posting one of the best campaigns in program history last spring, announce league officials Friday.

Defending conference tournament champion Erskine College tops the poll with 99 points and nine first-place votes, while reigning regular season titleholder Limestone College is second with 86 points and two first-place votes. Lees-McRae is third with 69 points, followed closely by Queens University of Charlotte (68) and Coker College (59). Mount Olive College is picked sixth with 52 points, followed by North Greenville University (51), Pfeiffer University (51), Belmont Abbey College (34), King College (19), and Barton College (17).

Lees-McRae posted a 26-27 record last spring, including a 10-8 tally in league play, which marked the program's first-ever winning season in conference action. The Bobcats, under the leadership of reigning Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year Merritt Yackey, return 10 letter-winners from last year's squad, including first-team all-conference selections Lindsey Huntsinger (Asheville, N.C.) and Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.).

Huntsinger and Robb lead the way for the Bobcat batting order, as the pair combined for 16 home runs and 54 RBI last season. Robb paced Lees-McRae on the base paths in 2011, recording a team-high 13 stolen bases to go along with a .325 batting average; Huntsinger posted a clip of .336 at the dish while smashing 14 long balls and driving in 41 runs.

Lees-McRae opens the 2012 season on February 4 when the Bobcats travel to Raleigh, N.C. to take on St. Augustine's College and Shaw University at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

- LMC -

2012 Conference Carolinas Softball Preseason Coaches Poll

Rk. School (1st place votes) Points
1 Erskine (9) 99
2 Limestone (2) 86
3 Lees-McRae 69
4 Queens 68
5 Coker 59
6 Mount Olive 52
T-7 North Greenville 51
T-7 Pfeiffer 51
9 Belmont Abbey 34
10 King 19
11 Barton 17