Armstrong Atlantic State University junior shortstop Alexis Mercer and senior third baseman Kacie Patterson have each been named to the Peach Belt’s preseason All-Conference Softball squad.
The pair are two of the 12-member squad nominated and voted on by Peach Belt Conference coaches. The Pirates were picked to finish first in the Peach Belt coaches’ preseason poll and open the season ranked No. 5 in the NFCA Division II poll.
Mercer, meanwhile, was the PBC’s Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2014, hitting .339 with 11 stolen bases, 13 home runs and 44 RBIs. The former South Effingham High Star ranked second in the league in home runs while also ranking fourth in total bases, sixth in slugging and seventh in on-base percentage. She was an NFCA and Daktronics All-Southeast Region selection and a two-time PBC Player of the Week honoree.
Patterson led the Peach Belt Conference in hitting a year ago at a .416 clip, which was also tied for the sixth-best single-season batting average in Armstrong softball history.
Armstrong, 44-10-1 and off last year’s appearance in the program’s first College World Series, opens up the 2014 season Saturday, hosting Mount Olive at 8:30 a.m. and Lee University at 2:30 p.m. at the Armstrong Softball Field.