The Southwestern Athletic Conference announces its 2008 SWAC Softball Preseason Honors: Alabama A&Mâ€™s Debra Borcherding and Reâ€™Quincia Mack claimed top honors as Preseason Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Both the preseason honors and the predicted order of finish were voted on by the leagueâ€™s coaches and sports information contacts.
Borcherding â€“ a 5-foot-6 senior from Ames, Iowa â€“ has become one of the top pitchers in the conference over the past two seasons. A two-time first-team all-conference selection, she registered 196 strikeouts over 145 innings pitches in 27 appearances last season. She was also named All-Tournament as well as SWAC Pitcher of the Week in April of 2007. She also saw time as an infielder, batting .239 with 20 hits, two doubles, a home run and ten runs batted in.
Mack â€“ the 2006 Freshman of the Year and 2007 SWAC Hitter of the Year â€“ continued her career in the SWAC with another great performance last season. In 45 games played, she had a batting average of .361 with 48 hits, six doubles, four triples and eight home runs. A 5-foot-8 junior from Huntsville, Ala., she drew 12 walks while driving in 28 runs and scoring 37 times. She had ten stolen bases and a .647 slugging percentage. In the outfield, she had 64 putouts and a fielding percentage of .932.
There were several players who were named all-conference in 2007 who received preseason honors this season. First-Team performers include: Mack and Borcherding (Alabama A&M); Janna Dias and Adrianne Rocha (Texas Southern); Ebony Stevenson (Jackson State); Denean Woods (Grambling State); Amber Steeves (Alcorn State); Candy Shumpert (Mississippi Valley State); Courtney Chappell and Megan Hodge (Southern) and Alabama Stateâ€™s April Oâ€™Neal and Destinee Sanchez.
In the predicted order of finish, Mississippi Valley State and Southern were chosen to win their respective divisions in 2008.
In the East, the Devilettes received 92 points (16 first-place votes) as they were tabbed to repeat as division winners. Jackson State was picked to finish second as Alcorn State and Alabama A&M tied for the third place spot. Alabama State was chosen fifth in the division.
In the West, Southern claimed 12 first-place votes for a total of 89 points. Texas Southern received one first-place vote as they were chosen second while Arkansas-Pine Bluff was picked third. Grambling State and Prairie View round out the division in fourth and fifth places, respectively.