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Smith tabbed SoCon player of the year
Smith Megen
Megen Smith
Megen Smith career stats
HRs    RBIs    Avg.    W    L    ERA
22    87    .293    24    29    3.29

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Even through Georgia Southern softball doesn’t open the season until Saturday, the wins started rolling in on Tuesday morning as the Southern Conference coaches picked senior former Effingham County High School star Megen Smith as the 2011 Preseason Player of the Year and senior Brianna Streetmon as the 2011 Preseason Pitcher of the Year. The Eagles were picked third in the predicted order of finish poll released Tuesday.

“Brianna and Megen are two tremendous players and will lead our team on the field this season,” said coach Maggie Johnson. “As seniors, they are very focused on our goal of winning the Southern Conference and we expect them to have an impact on our success in 2011.”

Smith was a first-team All-SoCon selection last season hitting .322 with a league-high 18 home runs and 47 RBIs. She posted a .696 slugging percentage along with eight stolen bases. In the circle, Smith had eight wins while striking out 79 batters in 143.2 innings of pitching work.

Streetmon earned her second consecutive Pitcher of the Year award last season and will look for a third in 2011. She tallied a league-best 19 wins on the season, including 11 in conference play. She also led the conference in innings pitched with 224. Streetmon registered an overall ERA of 1.97, ranking her second in the league. She posted a 1.62 ERA in conference play.

Georgia Southern was picked third in the league after finishing in that position last year. Last year’s SoCon tournament champion Elon was selected first with five first-place votes, followed closely by last year’s regular-season SoCon Champion, Chattanooga, with four first place votes. The Eagles were placed ahead of UNCG, Appalachian State, College of Charleston, Furman, Samford and Western Carolina, in order of rating.

“Being picked third shows us we have a certain amount of respect within the SoCon,” Johnson said. “However, we still have hard work to do in order to accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves this season.”

Georgia Southern opens this season this weekend, playing Mercer at 1:30 p.m. and Radford at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday, the Eagles will face Radford at 10 a.m. and Mercer at 3 p.m.