Jan. 28, 2013
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LOS ANGELES - In their final season competing in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference, the LMU softball team was picked to finish second, according to the PCSC Preseason Coaches Poll, released Monday. All seven conference head coaches participated in the poll.
League newcomer BYU was picked to win the 2013 PCSC title, receiving six-of-seven first place votes and 48 points overall. LMU was picked second with 39 points and San Diego edged Saint Mary's for third place by one point, with 32. Utah Valley was picked to finish fifth, followed by CSU Bakersfield and Santa Clara.
First-place votes were worth seven points, six points was received for being voted second, five for third place and so forth. The Gaels received the other first-place vote.
The Lions are the winningest program in the PCSC, since the conference began play in 2003 and have captured three conference titles. Last season, LMU compiled a 32-21 overall record and a 10-10 mark in PCSC play, good for a fourth place finish in the Coastal Division.
LMU returns 13 total letterwinners, including 10 position players and three pitchers from last year's squad. That returning core includes two 15-game winners in seniors Molly Medeiros and Dana Waldusky. Medeiros, the 2011 PCSC Coastal Division Pitcher of the Year, went 15-9 with a 2.65 ERA and recorded five shutouts last spring. Waldusky went 15-10 with a 3.35 ERA and posted six shutouts.
Other top returners include senior catcher Olivia Alvarez
and senior outfielder Danielle Smith
. Alvarez hit .338 with four home runs and 26 RBIs on her way to earning All-PCSC Coastal Division honorable mention selection in 2012 while Smith batted .318 with 20 runs scored before a knee injury sidelined her for the final 26 games of the season.
LMU will look to its returners as well as its 10 newcomers to help fill the void left by graduated power hitters Sam Fischer and Kelly Sarginson, who combined for 34 of the team's 52 home runs in 2012.
The 2013 softball season gets underway on Feb. 7-9 when the Lions head to St. George, Utah to take part in the Red Desert Classic. The Lions 19-game home slate begins March 12 with a doubleheader against Bethune Cookman.