Two Utah State softball players garnered preseason all-Western Athletic Conference honors on Tuesday. The WAC office announced the 2013 Preseason all-WAC team, as selected by the league's eight coaches, including USU's senior infielder Christine Thomsen and sophomore outfielder Hailey Froton.
Thomsen, who proved to be one of the biggest offensive threats in the WAC her junior season, posted a league-leading .418 batting average to go along with only seven strikeouts last season. Thomsen led her squad in hits, runs and total bases. The senior will continue to pack the punch for the middle of the Aggie offense in 2013.
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 crushed the second-most long balls for the Aggie offense, finishing the season with six.
Utah State was picked to finished sixth in the preseason coaches poll. In a preseason vote of the Western Athletic Conference softball coaches, league newcomer Texas State edged out San Jose State by one point to win the 2013 WAC regular-season crown.
The Bobcats took the top spot in the preseason poll with 43 points and five first-place votes, just ahead of the Spartans in second place with 42 points and two first-place votes. New Mexico State was third with 39 points and one first-place vote. UTSA came in fourth place with 30 points, followed by Louisiana Tech in fifth with 22 points and USU in sixth with 20 points. UT Arlington and Seattle U rounded out the poll with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
2013 Preseason Softball Coaches Poll Rank Teams (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. Texas State (5) 43
2. San Jose State (2) 42
3. New Mexico State (1) 39
4. UTSA 30
5. Louisiana Tech 22
6. Utah State 20
7. UT Arlington 15
8. Seattle U 13
2013 Preseason Softball All-WAC Team
Teresa Conrad—New Mexico State—Sr.—UT
Michelle Cox—San Jose State—So.—OF
Hailey Froton—Utah State—So.—OF
Melanie Goff—Louisiana Tech—Sr.—P/UT
Anna Hernandez—Texas State—Sr.—2B
Michelle Jones—Louisiana Tech—Sr.—P/UT
Teri Lyles—UT Arlington—Sr.—P
Bubba Morrow—Seattle U—So.—C
Amber Olive—New Mexico State—Sr.—OF
Sarah Petosa—Seattle U—Jr.—OF
Amanda Pridmore—San Jose State—Sr.—P
Anne Marie Taylor—Texas State—Sr.—P
Christine Thomsen—Utah State—Sr.—IF
Nina Villanueva—UT Arlington—So.—1B
The Aggies will open their 2013 campaign at the Red Desert Classic on Feb. 8, 2013 in St. George, Utah. Utah State opens the classic with a bout against Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee that is currently ranked sixth in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Softball Top 25. The Lady Volunteers finished last season with a 52-14 record.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.