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Autumn Petrino was named to the 2006 Preseason All-SLC Squad Thursday.
Autumn Petrino was named to the 2006 Preseason All-SLC Squad Thursday.

Jan. 26, 2006

PLANO, Texas - UTA senior outfielder Autumn Petrino (Rowlett, Texas) has been named to the 2006 Preseason All-Southland Conference Softball released Thursday.

Petrino batted .320 and was sixth in the SLC with 13 doubles. She ranked second on the squad with 19 RBI.

Joining her on the squad is junior third baseman Courtni Anderson (Mesquite, Texas) who was named to the second-team list. She ranked fifth on the team with seven RBI and batted .209 in 43 games last season.

Headlining this group of 22 student-athletes are preseason favorites Texas-San Antonio and Sam Houston State. UTSA sports five on the first and second teams, while Sam Houston has four honorees.

McNeese State, Texas State, Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State and Texas-Arlington have two preseason all-conference picks while Southeastern Louisiana has one.

Eighteen of the 33 All-Southland selections in 2005 return to the field this season. Sixteen of those 18 standout players appear on the preseason lists as well as six new additions. Eight of 10 conference teams are represented.

Headlining the list of returning 2005 All-SLC first team picks is shortstop Aimee Murray, catcher Jessica Els and outfielder Stacey Gillespie for UTSA. Shalayne Blythe is also back on the mound for Sam Houston State as well as second baseman Lauren Boone. Katie Ann Trahan of Texas State returns as a two-time all-conference pick as designated player and pitcher.

The six new additions include Jana Jones of McNeese State and Southeastern Louisiana's Becki de la Garza, both play first base. The vacant third base positions were filled by Lee Lara of Stephen F. Austin and Courtney Anderson of Texas-Arlington. The second team catcher slot was awarded to Northwestern State's Margaret Patterson while the outfield positions were completed with Amy Hromadka of Texas State.

The preseason softball teams consist of players who were first, second and third team All-SLC in 2005 and are returning and eligible for the upcoming season. Any vacant positions are nominated and voted on by the conference's head softball coaches.

The first pitch of the 2006 Southland softball season will take place on Thursday, Feb. 9 as four teams open up regular season action. Texas State and Texas-Arlington will be competing in the Oceanic Time Warner Hawaii Paradise Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, while Louisiana-Monroe will host Grambling State.

2006 Preseason All-Southland Picks by Schools

McNeese State Jana Jones (Tomball, Texas) of McNeese State is one of two players to be named to two preseason positions. She is honored as a first team first baseman and a second team designated player. The junior also earned all-conference second team pick as a DP in 2005.

With a league-high 259.2 innings pitched and 40 games started, senior Jessica Denham (Alvin, Texas) earned 2005 All-SLC second team honors, an honor she repeats this preseason.


Northwestern State's Sarina Noack (Tomball, Texas) concluded the 2005 season ranked among the league's best in several categories, including first in stolen bases (25), second in runs scored (47), fourth in triples (4) and fifth in hits (71). These numbers earned the senior outfielder second team all-conference honors a year ago but first team preseason honors this season.

For the second consecutive year, NWLa.'s Margaret Patterson (Mandeville, La.) appears on a preseason team. Patterson was voted by the head coaches to the second team at the catcher position but was an all-conference designated player pick a year ago. The junior nailed 10 home runs for 10th best in the league to go along with a .989 fielding percentage on 162 putouts, 12 assists with only two errors.


Sam Houston State returns the league's top hitter and pitcher in Lauren Boone (Bryan, Texas) and Shalayne Blythe (Port Neches-Grove, Texas). Both appear on the 2006 All-SLC Preseason first team and earned 2005 All-SLC first team accolades.

Boone, a senior second baseman, led the league in batting average with a .414 (140 AB, 58 hits) and on-base percentage with a .517. She also ranked third in walks (27) and 10th in runs scored (38).

Blythe concluded her freshman campaign with a conference low 1.64 ERA en route to earning 2005 SLC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year merits. She pitched 170.1 innings and allowed only 40 earned runs and 18 walks. The then freshman finished with an overall record of 14-10 and seven shutouts.

Completing Sam Houston's contingent is shortstop Tanya Hooser (Montgomery, Texas) and outfielder Stephanie Mosley (Houston, Texas), both are second team preseason selections and 2005 All-SLC third teamers. Mosley, a junior, finished the 2005 season tied for sixth in the league for most doubles with 13.


Stephen F. Austin had two Ladyjacks on the preseason lists. Senior Lee Lara (Navasota, Texas) got the first team nod at third base, while senior outfieder Carrie Woydziak (Round Rock, Texas) appears on the second team. Woydziak was a 2005 All-SLC second teamer after producing five triples, 19 stolen bases and a .418 on-base percentage.


Southeastern Louisiana's Becki de la Garza (Houston, Texas) filled the second team vacant first base position as voted on by the head coaches. The junior established a .985 fielding percentage and had 312 putouts a year ago. She also scored 19 runs on 39 hits.


Texas-Arlington placed two on the preseason lists; outfielder Autumn Petrino (Rowlett, Texas) and third baseman Courtney Anderson (Coppell, Texas). Petrino is a preseason first team pick, while Anderson shows up on the second team. Petrino, who ranked sixth in the league for most doubles (13), is coming off of a season where she was named to the 2005 All-SLC second team. Anderson was one of six players to be voted to the preseason teams by the coaches. The junior finished the 2005 season with a .939 fielding percentage.


UTSA faces a bigger challenge than expected this season due to losing the service of 2005 SLC Player and Hitter of the Year, Jessica Rogers, a three-time all-conference pick. Rogers, who plays third base, was recently sidelined with a season-ending injury and will redshirt her senior campaign. She led the conference and ranked among the nation's best with 23 home runs and 64 RBI a year ago.

However, UTSA returns five all-conference players including newcomer of the year, and All-SLC third teamer Melaney Torres (Dallas, Texas). Torres is a preseason second teamer but finished the 2005 campaign ranked third in the league in runs scored (46), fourth in doubles (38), seventh in RBI (36) and 10th in hits (60).

Torres, along with preseason first team seniors Stacey Gillespie (Round Rock, Texas) and Jessica Els (Houston, Texas) plus junior Aimee Murray (Cypress, Texas), will attempt to fill the void of Rogers. Gillespie is one of the top outfielders in the league as she earned 2005 first team merits. Els calls the shots behind the plate, while Murray directs the traffic in the infield at shortshop. Els batted sixth best in the league with a .377 average (175 AB, 66 hits) and produced a .424 on-base percentage, also sixth best.

Junior pitcher, Ursula Mares (Pasadena, Texas), will also be a valuable piece to this year's UTSA team. She produced a team-best 21 wins, one shy of top honors in the Southland, and was among the top five in numerous SLC pitching categories, including second in batters struck out (202) and opponents batting average (.209). Mares, an all-conference second teamer in 2005, earns preseason second team honors as well.


Three-time All-SLC pick and two-time SLC Utility Player of the Year, Katie Ann Trahan (Magnolia, Texas) of Texas State returns to the field for her senior season. Trahan is one of two softball players to be named to two preseason all-conference positions this year. She is a first team utility pick and pitcher for the Bobcats. The pitching ace looks to become just the 10th softball player in league history to earn four All-SLC merits. Trahan picked up a league leading 22 wins and 353 strikeouts, 151 more strikeouts than the second place finisher, last year. She also had seven shutouts and produced 22-18 record while pitching 258.1 innings.

Teammate Amy Hromadka (Mt. Calm, Texas) appears on her first preseason list as a second team outfielder. The senior tied for second for most triples (5) and was ninth in the SLC in stolen bases (11) in 2005. She's the top returning Bobcat in each category.




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