February 12, 2014

Softball Tabbed Seventh in MAAC Preseason Poll; Courtney Solt Named to Preseason All-Conference Team

EDISON, N.J. – The Quinnipiac softball team was selected to finish seventh in the MAAC preseason coaches' poll released by the league office on Wednesday, Feb. 12. In addition to their seventh place nod, sophomore outfielder Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) was voted by the league coaches onto the Preseason All-MAAC Team also announced this afternoon.

The Bobcats finished the 2014 season with a record of 17-35 and finished their final season as a member of the Northeast Conference in seventh place overall with a mark of 9-11 in NEC play. Quinnipiac failed to reach the postseason for the first time since the 2009 season, breaking up a string of three straight trips to the playoffs for the Bobcats.

MAAC Preseason Poll
1. Marist 110
2. Fairfield 105
3. Monmouth 104
4. Siena 80
5. Canisius 67
6. Iona 64
7. Quinnipiac 58
8. Niagara 57
9. Manhattan 46
10. Rider 22
11. St. Peter's 13

Marist, the defending MAAC Tournament Champion, were announced the preseason favorite with 110 points in the poll. Following the Red Foxes is the three-time defending MAAC Tournament Runner-up Fairfield who finished right behind Marist with 105 points. Mon

mouth, a 2013 NEC Tournament team, finished third as they came one point shy of Marist with 104. Rounding out the remainder of the poll is Siena (80), Canisius (67), Iona (64), Quinnipiac (58), Niagara (57), Manhattan (46), Rider (22) and St. Peter's (13).

MAAC Preseason Poll
Lauren Liseth Catcher Fairfield
Vanessa Cardoza Infield Monmouth
Robin Kennery Infield Canisius
Kristen Filicia Infield Fairfield
Paige Lloyd Infield Siena
Nicole Cheek Outfield Marist
Eileen McCann Outfield Iona
Sammy Ruffolo Outfield Fairfield
Courtney Solt Outfield Quinnipiac
Kehli Washington Outfield Rider
Nicole Cheek Designated Player Marist
Alyssa Zahka Utility Marist
Elena Bowman Utility Manhattan
Jennifer Sansano Pitcher Niagara
Jessika-Jo Sandrini Pitcher Siena
     
MAAC Preseason Co-Players of the Year
Lauren Liseth Infield Fairfield
Nicole Cheek Outfield Marist

Marist and Fairfield split the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year as the Red Foxes' sophomore outfielder and reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year Nicole Cheek and the Stags' senior shortstop/catcher Lauren Liseth were named Preseason Co-Players of the Year. Liseth was the MAAC's Player of the Year in 2013 when she hit a league-leading .389 with seven homers and 36 RBI while Cheek's Rookie of the Year season included 15 home runs and 52 RBI.

In addition to the preseason poll, the MAAC released its preseason All-

Conference team which included Solt as she gained a great deal of respect from the league's coaches after having one of the best seasons Quinnipiac has seen at the plate in program history.

Solt's preseason All-Conference selection adds to her award collection as she already earned a College Sports Madness Preseason All-MAAC First Team nod earlier this month. She made an immediate impact in her first year with the Bobcats as she totaled 66 hits, eclipsing the program's single-season hits record in only her freshman season. Solt finished with a .375 batting average, .415 on-base percentage and .483 slugging percentage to go along with 18 RBI. Her 37 runs scored led the team while she also contributed nine doubles, an NEC-high five triples and team-high nine stolen bases.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the MAAC's top six finishers will play over a four-day period to determine the MAAC Tournament Champion who will then advance to the NCAA Tournament. Back in Dec. 2012, the MAAC Council of Presidents voted unanimously to support the MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration's proposal to change the format of the 2014 Softball Championship to include six teams instead of four. The site of the 2014 MAAC Softball Championship will be Alumni Field on the campus of Fairfield University as the four-day tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 7.

Quinnipiac will begin their 2014 season this weekend as they travel down to Jacksonville, Fla for the University of North Florida Tournament as they will take on four teams in five days starting with Southern Ill. and Savannah State on Friday, February 14.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu