Softball picked fourth in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches poll

Jan. 24, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University softball team was picked fourth in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches poll and seventh in the media preseason poll, while sophomore Shannon Jensen was named to the preseason all-conference team as announced by the league office.

"I appreciate the fact that the coaches view us as one of the top teams in the A-Sun conference," said JU head coach Melissa Gentile. "However, the preseason polls do not carry much weight with our team. The poll that counts is the poll at the end of May and that is the one that we're focused on right now."

Eight-time tournament champion, Florida Atlantic was picked win the league in both polls, while Stetson ranked second and conference newcomer Kennesaw State was selected third.

Jensen becomes the first Dolphin to earn preseason all-conference honors after tallying a 13-11 record with 144 strikeouts last season. Jensen also posted a .295 average and 33 RBI with three home runs at the plate to be named A-Sun freshman of the year.

"This is a great award to receive," said Jensen. "I am just disappointed that there were not more of my teammates on the preseason team so we can share this honor. My teammates are the ones who help me do well."

The Dolphins return 10 players from a year ago that went 35-32 and earned their first-ever trip to the A-Sun tournament. Senior pitcher Katie Dobson returns for her final season with the Dolphins after posting a career-best 15 wins and 194 strikeouts in 2005. JU also returns senior shortstop Stephanie Farabee and senior catcher Janine Palumbo. Farabee ranked second on the team in batting average (.345), while Palumbo posted 15 doubles on the season.

The Dolphins open the 2006 season at home in a doubleheader against Texas Tech on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m.

2006 A-Sun Coaches Poll

1. Florida Atlantic (10) 119 2. Stetson 106 3. Kennesaw State (1) 96 4. Jacksonville 74 5. Lipscomb 69 6. UNF 68 7. Mercer 60 8. Campbell 54 9. ETSU 40 10. Gardner-Webb 23 11. Belmont 16

Tournament Champion: Florida Atlantic

2006 A-Sun Media Poll

1. Florida Atlantic (11) 121 2. Stetson 105 3. Kennesaw State 90 4. Lipscomb 79 5. UNF 67 6. Campbell 59 7. Jacksonville 58 8. ETSU 56 9. Mercer 48 10. Gardner-Webb 25 11. Belmont 18

Tournament Champion: Florida Atlantic

2006 A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year

Melissa Wiggins - Stetson

2006 Preseason All-Atlantic Sun

P - Katie Rosentreter, Mercer P - Shannon Jensen, Jacksonville C - Cambria McKay, Kennesaw IF - Keri McKee, Kennesaw IF - Heather Collins, Lipscomb IF - Danielle Arriaga, Florida Atlantic IF - Melissa Wiggins, Stetson OF - Shawna Wiggs, Stetson OF - Holly Harris, Cambpell OF - Erin Mullen, Belmont DP - Ashley Parenteau, UNF