Feb. 7, 2008
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss softball team opens its regular season against Troy at the Early Bird Tournament hosted by Florida State, Feb. 8-10. This is the first of four tournaments the Lady Eagles play.
First-year head coach Howard Dobson makes his debut, ushering in a new era in Southern Miss softball. Dobson inherits a youthful Eagle team which features seven sophomores and three freshmen, have plenty of playing for their underclassmen which accounted for 54 percent of the starts for the program last year and 89 percent of the offense. Four freshmen and one sophomore each started at least 50 games.
Five seniors will put their leadership skills to work, helping to lead this youthful group. Southern Miss returns eight position starters and two pitchers from last year's team that finished 18-38.
Seniors Jennifer Fox batted .213 and led the team in doubles with 11, while Kristin Chaney hit .236 with four doubles. Allison Bullard started 53 of 55 games in centerfield, had seven doubles and four home runs. Shea Naramore started 34 games in the circle last season, pitching 179.0 innings. Rounding out the senior class is outfielder Brittney Pigott, who played in 32 games.
The Lady Eagles return seven of their top eight hitters. Heading that list is sophomore Megan Hill, who led the team in hitting (.331), hits (53), triples (5), home runs (13) and RBIs (41). Hill garnered All-Conference honors and was tabbed the Newcomer of the Year and received all-freshman honors, while sophomore Brandi Alzono, who was also named to the all-freshman team, finished the season batting .310 with 52 hits, including eight doubles, two triples and five homers. Another sophomore, Logan James, batted .274 with 46 hits, including 10 doubles and nine home runs and 25 RBIs.
Junior Kristin Pilgrim
was one of two players to start every game last season, batted .209 with 31 hits.
This will be Troy's opening game as well. The Trojans return 10 letterwinners from last year's 42-20 that advanced to the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference.
Head Coach Melanie Davis is in her 16th season. Davis added eight new players to the roster this season. The Trojans return three players who batted over .320 last season.
Florida State opens its regular season against the Lady Eagles in the third game of the tournament. Head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf enters her 30th year at the helm of the Seminole program. FSU returns seven position starters and three pitchers from a team that finished 44-25 last season and advanced to the Tuscaloosa Regional.
The Seminoles return four players who batted over .300 last season.
Louisville opens its regular season against Troy in Early Bird Tournament. The Cardinals return six starters from last year's team that finished 37-25 and advanced to the Ann Arbor Regional. Head coach Sandy Pearsall is in her ninth season with Louisville. The Cards return three players who batted over .300 last season.
Following the tournament, Southern Miss travels to Thibodaux, La., Feb. 13, to face Nicholls State at 6 p.m. The Lady Eagles open their home schedule, Feb. 20, against Jackson State.