2013 NORTH GEORGIA SEASON PREVIEW The University of North Georgia softball team enters the program’s 17th season of existence with a preseason ranking of 12th by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The Saints were also tabbed to win the Peach Belt Conference regular season title for the fifth straight season. The Saints’ softball program has become one of the most consistent as they have been ranked in the top-10 at the end of the season four years in a row, including No. 1 for the entire regular season of 2010. The Saints have also made five straight trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament including three World Series appearances in their amazing stretch from 200911. After winning three Peach Belt regular season and tournament titles and earning three straight trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament from 2009-11, the Saints will look to once again advance into post season play in 2013 after closing out the 2012 season in the NCAA Super Regional. After finishing the 2012 season ranked 10th nationally with an overall record of 49-10, North Georgia will look to showcase a roster that returns four starting infielders, two starting outfielders and two pitchers from last season. Above: Senior first baseman Katherine Martin “We are very excited to get the 2013 season underway as we have has served as the anchor for the Saints’ defense the past three years and will be relied on to conanother very competitive team and a schedule that will hopefully prepare tinue that role this year. us for the Peach Belt Conference and postseason play,” Davenport stated. “We graduated some great players from last season that won over 200 games in their four-year career, so they will be greatly missed, but we are excited to see how our returning players have continued to improve since last season including the addition of the new players to our program.” The good news for the Saints is that they return plenty of experience in nearly every aspect of the game; four returning infielders, three players with extensive experience in the outfield and two veterans in the circle. Infield Despite losing catcher Hilary Cox to graduation, Davenport will have plenty of veteran experience on defense as he returns Katherine Martin and Karlie Gillam on the corners as well as middle infielders Sarah Johnson and Tiffanie Burns. “We will have four returning infielders from last season and all have the ability to show great leadership in our program,” stated Davenport “Katherine has been the heartbeat of our defense for the past four seasons and leads by example and determination so we will count on her to continue that role.” Martin led the team last season with 351 putouts in 53 games that she played in. The senior has also proven to be highly reliable at the plate as she batted .289 which included 35 runs batted in a season ago. Opposite her on the field, Gillam led the team with 120 assists and returns the most consistent bat for the Saints as she led the team last year with a .329 batting average and 14 doubles. Up the middle, Johnson and Burns combined for 162 putouts and 175 assists on defense. On offense, Johnson led the team with 39 runs scored in 2012 while Burns led the team with nine home runs and was third on the squad with 33 RBI. As for the Saints’ backstop, Davenport has four players who could work to fill Cox’s shoes including returner Katie Block who played in 41 games last season. The other three are sophomore transfer Kim McMillan and freshmen Amanda Hawkins and Makenzie Day, all three of which could step in at any time for the Saints when called upon. Above: Senior third baseman Karlie Gillam led the team at the plate in 2012 with a .329 batting Outfield average and 14 doubles. She also led the team In the outfield, it is a similar story as North Georgia has three playwith 120 assists. ers who have seen action over the past few seasons despite losing center
The 2013 media guide for the University of North Georgia softball program.