The Parthenon

Marshall softball has four players named to preseason all-conference team

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The Marshall softball program received several accolades Wednesday when the Conference USA league office released its preseason projections for the upcoming season.

The Herd was picked to finish second in the conference standings behind only Florida Atlantic University in the preseason poll.

The Herd also had four players named to the Preseason All-Conference-USA Team, the most of any team in the conference.

Senior outfielder Kaelynn Greene, junior outfielder Morgan Zerkle, junior pitcher Jordan Dixon and sophomore infielder Elicia D’Orazio were the Herd players selected to the team, which is voted by the conference’s coaches.

“Having four players identified shows the caliber of student-athletes we have in our program,” Marshall head coach Shonda Stanton said. “However, we are more interested in achievement than potential recognized in preseason picks.”

The four players selected have exemplified the achievement Stanton speaks of as each turned in stellar performances last season.

Zerkle played at a historic level last season, breaking multiple single-season program records en route to being selected for the 2016 Women’s National Elite team.

D’Orazio was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year for her efforts last season, while Greene became the first player in school history to record two seasons of 70 or more hits.

Dixon’s numbers last season ranked amongst the nation’s statistical leaders as she was the first pitcher in the country to reach 30 wins, and her 308 strikeouts were good for eighth nationally. Dixon also tied the school record for most wins in a season with 33.

Despite the preseason recognition from the conference’s coaches, Stanton said the awards are secondary to the actual start of the season.

“The most exciting thing about the preseason poll is that it means the season is on the horizon,” Stanton said. “We have completed our first week of training and every day we are focused on a working culture that produces a winning culture.”

The four all-conference selections and the rest of the Herd will begin its season Feb. 12 against the University of Evansville in the Troy University Tournament.

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