CCU softball voted second; Noad named player of year

ccusoft-7The Coastal Carolina softball team has been selected second in the Big South Conference’s annual preseason poll, with Morgan Noad as Preseason Player of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday.

The Chanticleers, who went 16-7 in league play last year, claimed two of the nine first-place votes from the conference’s head coaches, along with one second-place vote and five third-place votes for 67 total points.

Longwood, the reigning Big South Champions were selected first in the poll with two first-place votes for 70 points. Charleston Southern also tabbed two first-place votes, taking third with 60 points. Liberty and Winthrop each garnered one first-place vote, with the Flames taking fourth with 56 points and the Buccaneers placing fifth with 51 points. Presbyterian (39 points), Campbell (36), Radford (18) and Gardner-Webb (17) rounded out the list.

Noad, a two-time All-Big South first team selection, claimed six first place votes for her preseason honor. The senior catcher led her team to a second place finish in the Big South and ranked 12th in the nation in home runs while ranked 24th in slugging. She set a new program record for home runs in a season with 22, while leading the league in homeruns and total bases, second in RBI’s and third in slugging.

Coastal pitcher Kelsey Dominik, who earned an honorable mention last season, earned two of the other first place votes to place third in the preseason voting. Ten Chanticleers return from the 2015 squad, including six of its eight 2015 all-conference honorees – first-team members Noad and Bri Chiusano and second-team selection Amanda Daneker. Five seniors are among the returnee group, which is joined by eight freshman newcomers.

“I think that every team is going to test us,” coach Kelley Green said. “We’re young, we’re talented, we’re a very talented squad but we still have a lot of room to grow and I think that every game is going to be a test, and certainly within the conference.”

The Chants open the 2016 campaign on the road Friday, Feb. 12 with games against Top 25 team NC State and UNC Greensboro as part of the ‘The River City Leadoff’ hosted by Jacksonville University.

Photo courtesy of Big South Conference

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