ALTOONA, Pa. — The Penn State Altoona softball team was voted into second place in the 2023 edition of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Penn State Behrend, the back-to-back defending AMCC champion, is expected to win the league for a third straight year, as Behrend was voted first in the poll. Penn State Altoona was selected second, and Mount Aloysius College took third place.
Penn State Altoona softball went 20-13 overall last season, including a 12-4 record in the AMCC that gave the Lions the No. 2 seed in the conference postseason tournament. Penn State Altoona’s tournament run extended to the AMCC championship game, where the team suffered a loss to Behrend. Head coach Bill Graham returns for his second season with the Lions, who bring back five key players from last spring’s squad.
Named in the preseason poll as “Players to Watch” for Penn State Altoona this season were utility player Cameryn Feathers of Martinsburg and infielder Gianna Hoppel of Lewistown.
Feathers was a second-team All-AMCC selection last season for the Lions. Among all AMCC hitters, she ranked third in home runs (2), fourth in slugging percentage (.570), fifth in batting average (.420), sixth in on-base percentage (.454), seventh in hits (42), total bases (57), and stolen bases (7), 12th in runs scored (23) and doubles (7), and 15th in runs batted in (20).
Hoppel was a first-team All-AMCC pick last spring, as well as being a third-team Division III All-Region VII selection. She led the AMCC in batting average (.462) while also ranking second in on-base percentage (.488), sixth in home runs (1) and sacrifice hits (4), eighth in slugging percentage (.538), 16th in hits (36) and hit by pitch (2), 20th in runs scored (21), 22nd in total bases (42), and 26th in runs batted in (16).
Penn State Altoona softball opens its 2023 schedule in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-area Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic. From Sunday, March 5, through Thursday, March 9, the Lions will play nine games before returning to Pennsylvania to resume their schedule.