UVU softball picked third in WAC preseason poll

Amanda Robinson

Jan. 28, 2014

DENVER -- Announced Tuesday by the league offices, Utah Valley University has been picked to finish third in the 2014 Western Athletic Conference softball standings in a vote of the conference's six head coaches. The coaches, who could not vote for their own team, voted New Mexico State as the WAC favorite to take home the softball title.

The Aggies took the top spot with 25 points and five first-place votes. Coming in second with 19 points -- five more than UVU's 14 -- was Seattle U, who also garnered a first-place nod. Rounding out the projections were Bakersfield in fourth with 13 points, Kansas City with 10, and Grand Canyon at nine.

Josi Summers

"Being ranked third obviously has no bearing on how our team will perform in the WAC," said first year Wolverine head coach Nikki Palmer. "We have set our goals high and we plan to achieve them all. With the dedication and hard work this team has shown thus far, there should be no reason they cannot achieve what they have set out to complete."

The Preseason All-WAC team, also selected by the coaches, was also announced Tuesday. The list features two Wolverines -- senior first baseman Amanda Robinson and junior pitcher Josi Summers.

Robinson was a unanimous first team All-PCSC selection last season after batting .351 with 31 RBI and a team-leading seven home runs. She enters the season just three homers shy of becoming UVU's all-time leader and can eclipse the program mark for hits in a career with 40 this year.

Meanwhile, Summers earns the All-WAC nod after going 13-7 during her sophomore campaign in Orem and earning All-PCSC honorable mention accolades. The Wolverines' top returning pitcher, Summers posted a 2.28 ERA with 130 strikeouts last season and set a single-game UVU record for strikeouts in a game with 13 against Weber State.

"The pre season picks of Amanda and Josi are spot on," Palmer said. "These two will be among the many elite athletes on our team this year to pose a defensive threat and certainly on Amanda's side an offensive prowess as well. "

The 2014 season gets underway for Utah Valley on Feb. 7 at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah. The Wolverines will play five games at the Classic, beginning with a showdown against Idaho State. All roads lead to the 2014 WAC Softball Tournament, hosted by Seattle U and held May 8-10. All five eligible teams will compete with the winner advancing to the NCAA Regionals.

2014 WAC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll

 Rank  Teams (1st-Place Votes)  Points
 1  New Mexico State (5)  25
 2  Seattle U (1)  19
 3  Utah Valley  14
 4  Bakersfield  13
 5  Kansas City  10
 6  Grand Canyon  9

2014 Preseason Softball All-WAC Team

 Player  School
 Yr.  Pos.
 Emma Adams  New Mexico State  So.  3B
 Kelsey Barak  Grand Canyon  Jr.  SS
 Caitlin Christopher  Kansas City  Jr.  C
 Shay Fryer  Bakersfield  Sr.  SS
 Izzy Geronimo  Seattle U  So.  OF
 Katie Kelley  Kansas City  So.  1B/RHP
 Bubba Morrow  Seattle U  Jr.  C
 Amanda Robinson  Utah Valley  Sr.  1B
 Staci Rodriguez  New Mexico State  Jr.  OF
 Josi Summers  Utah Valley  Jr.  RHP
 Karissa Veiga  Bakersfield  Sr.  OF
 Claire Zampini  Grand Canyon  Sr.  OF