ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Penn State Altoona softball was voted into third place in the 2018 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, the results of which were released on Friday.
Penn State Behrend, which has claimed each of the last three conference titles in softball, was voted into first place by the AMCC coaches. Medaille College was picked second, and Penn State Altoona came in third place. Medaille and Penn State Altoona tied for second place in the conference standings last season.
Lady Lions softball posted an 18-18 overall record last spring, including a 12-6 mark in the AMCC. This season, led by third-year head coach Joe Merilli, Penn State Altoona expects to again be in the mix for a conference championship.
Named as "Players to Watch" in the preseason poll were junior shortstop Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) and sophomore third baseman Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola).
Giedroc was a second team All-AMCC selection in 2017. She ranked third in the AMCC in home runs (3), sixth in total bases (65), seventh in doubles (8) and batting average (.383), eighth in hits (44) and slugging percentage (.565), 10th in stolen bases (10), 11th in hit by pitch (2), and 14th in on-base percentage (.413). As a fielder, Giedroc was fourth in the AMCC in assists with 77.
Showers was voted to the first team of the All-AMCC squad last spring. In the AMCC, she ranked sixth in stolen bases (12), 11th in hit by pitch (2), 16th in hits (39), 22nd in batting average (.339), 23rd in total bases (45), and 26th in runs batted in (16), and she was also second in the conference in assist with 84.
Penn State Altoona softball opens its 2018 schedule today, Friday, February 23, with a doubleheader at Bridgewater College (Va.) beginning at 2:30 p.m.