GREENSBORO - First baseman Jax Woodard (formerly known as Juanita Jernigan) and catcher Sabrina Edmonds were named to the MEAC's preseason all-conference team for softball on Friday. The conference also released its preseason predictions with head coaches and sports information directors around the league picking the Aggies to finish fourth in the Southern Division.
The Aggies finished 16-35 overall last season. They entered the MEAC Softball Championship Tournament as the fourth seed out of the South after a 7-8 conference record.
"We are stronger this year because we have more depth," said A&T head coach Mamie Jones. "I think we can be pretty good if we stay healthy. Of course, in softball you're going to have your bumps and bruises here and there, but I think if we stay healthy for the most part, we can be pretty good."
A hamstring injury to Woodard late last season was costly for the Aggies because they lacked depth. Woodard hit .342 with five home runs and 23 RBI, earning first-team All-MEAC honors in 2012. In her first season playing first base collegiately, she only committed six errors. But she pulled her hamstring at Savannah State on April 15, and therefore only had seven at-bats over the final month of the season.
"I'm very glad to have her back healthy," Jones said about Woodard. "She has a big bat, and she has worked very hard on her hitting. She really wants to improve on her stats from last year."
Edmonds is also expected to have a big bat in Jones' lineup. Edmonds' 11 home runs in 2012 led the MEAC. She also hit .303, drove in a team-leading 29 runs and posted a .607 slugging percentage, which was third best in the conference.
A&T's season opener is Saturday, Feb. 16 when they face Morgan State in a 1 p.m., non-conference doubleheader at the Lady Aggies Softball Complex.