College Sports Madness announced its preseason all-Western Athletic Conference softball team this week, and three Utah State athletes were selected as preseason honorees. The staff at College Sports Madness has picked the top softball players in each conference. These players are expected to make significant contributions to their team in the upcoming season.
First-team honors were given to senior infielder Christine Thomsen, who proved to be one of the biggest offensive threats in the WAC her junior season. Thomsen posted a league-leading .418 batting average to go along with only seven strikeouts last season. The senior will continue to pack the punch for the middle of the Utah State offense in 2013.
Receiving second-team honors were senior pitcher Mandy Harmon and sophomore outfielder Hailey Froton.
Harmon will anchor the starting rotation for USU this upcoming season relying on her experience to lead the Aggie pitching staff in 2013. Harmon tallied 100 strikeouts in 139 innings of work last season.
Froton came on strong late last season for Utah State, as she put together a head-turning freshman campaign. Froton registered a .274 batting average last season, which was the third-highest by a USU player. The outfielder will look to continue to progress and help her squad offensively. Froton also has the second most homeruns on her team with six last season.
The Aggies will open their 2013 campaign at the Red Desert Classic on Feb. 8, 2013, in St. George, Utah. Utah State will open the classic with a bout against Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee.
2013 College Madness WAC Preseason All-Conference Teams
Field Player of the Year — Haley Lemons, Texas State
Pitcher of the Year — Amanda Pridmore, San Jose State
Freshman of the Year — Rebecca Stokes, Texas-Arlington
Coach of the Year — Ricci Woodard, Texas State
First Team — P Amanda Pridmore, San Jose State; P Anne Marie Taylor, Texas State; P Teri Lyles, Texas-Arlington; IF Anna Hernandez, Texas State; IF Melanie Goff, Louisiana Tech; IF Bubba Morrow, Seattle; IF Christine Thomsen, Utah State; IF Haley Lemons, Texas State; OF Michelle Cox, San Jose State; OF Sarah Petosa, Seattle; OF Brooke Baker, Texas State; UT Malena Padilla, New Mexico State
Second Team — P Haylee Staton, Texas-San Antonio; P Mandy Harmon, Utah State; P Michelle Jones, Louisiana Tech; IF Lisa Maulden, Seattle; IF Megan Low, Texas-San Antonio; IF Brianna Guerrero, Seattle; IF Courtney Buchman, Texas-San Antonio; IF Jessica Garcia, San Jose State; OF Hailey Froton, Utah State; OF Rebecca Stokes, Texas-Arlington; OF Amber Olive, New Mexico State; UT Kelsey Dodd, New Mexico State
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.