From Emory University Athletics
The Emory softball team holds down the No. 4 position in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Top 25 Preseason Poll.
The NFCA Top 25 Poll is selected by eight head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Emory received a total of 176 points. Reigning D-III champion UT-Tyler was tabbed for the No. 1 position, garnering all eight first-place votes and totaling 200 points. St. John Fisher (192 pts.) and Messiah (184 pts.) held down the Nos. 2 and 3 spots, respectively.
Head coach Penny Siqueiros begins her 19th year calling the shots for the Eagles with an experienced cast back in the fold from the 2016 unit that fashioned a school-record 46 wins against eight setbacks. Emory advanced to the NCAA D-III Championships for the fourth time in school history where it posted a fifth-place finish.
Among the 17 players from last year's roster returning is senior All-America pitcher Brittany File, who crafted a won-lost record of 36-6, with her victory total leading all D-III hurlers and establishing a school season record. Named the UAA Player of the Year, File threw a program record 234 2/3 innings and struck out a school record 343 opposing batters, second in the D-III ranks. She averaged 10.2 strikeouts per seven frames with that mark slotting her fourth nationally. File fanned 10 or more on 14 occasions en route to being named UAA Pitcher of the Week six times.
Providing punch to the lineup will be juniors Janelle Turnquest and Ashley Powers who combined for 19 home runs and 100 RBIs. Turnquest topped all University Athletic Association performers and stood 11th in the Division III ranks with 12 home runs. A First Team All-UAA choice and Second Team All-Atlantic Region honoree, Turnquest totaled 64 RBIs, the second-highest seasonal mark in school history. Powers, a Second Team All-Atlantic Region pick, ended as the team's top hitter, checking in with an average of .412 that slotted her in the No. 5 spot on the conference ladder. She tied for the team lead with 63 hits and contributed seven homers and 36 RBIs.
A host of other battle-tested players will continue to be key contributors including senior outfielders Taylor Forte (.373, 16 2B, 28 RBIs) and Amy Wray (.297 10 2B, 22 RBIs), sophomore shortstop Cassie Baca (.379, 38 runs, 9 2B, 28 RBIs), sophomore outfielder Sam Vincent (.304, 26 runs scored) and sophomore catcher Lana Herrmann (. 278, 9 HR, 31 RBIs).