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Jan. 28, 2016

11644584.jpegAlaynie Page garnered recognition on the 2016 Preseason All-Southeastern Conference Softball Team, a year after leading the Gamecocks in nearly every offensive category and becoming the program’s first NFCA All-American under head coach Beverly Smith.

The Boiling Springs, S.C., native finished in the top 40 in NCAA Division I in batting average, on-base and slugging percentages, a feat only one other SEC player could claim (Emily Carosone, Auburn). She set new Gamecock single-season program records in on-base percentage (.538), slugging percentage (.805), home runs (15) and home runs per game (0.25). Page also proved to be an ironwoman, ranking as one of two Gamecocks to start all 60 contests for a team that improved its win total for the third-consecutive season.

Three players from Auburn and Florida both appeared on the team, while Alabama and LSU each had two.

The Preseason All-SEC Softball Team is voted on by the league’s head coaches and consists of a minimum of 14 players. Each SEC head coach voted for five infielders, four outfielders, three pitchers, one catcher and one designated player/utility. No ties were broken.

In a class-by-class breakdown, the 2016 team consists of 11 seniors, one junior and two sophomores.

South Carolina opens the 2016 season in the USF Wilson Demarini Tournament in Tampa, Fla., kicking off the event against Women’s College World Series finalist Michigan at 9:30 a.m. on Fri., Feb. 12. The home campaign begins on Wed., Feb. 17 against North Carolina. First pitch for that is set for 1 p.m.

Season tickets are available now for Gamecock Softball for the outstanding price of $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under. That gives fans a chance to come to 33 games at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Get them online today at GamecocksOnline.com/tickets.

2016 Preseason All-SEC Softball Team

Name, School, Position, Cl., Ht. Hometown
Emily Carsone, Auburn, IF, Sr., 5-4, Orlando, Fla.
Kasey Cooper, Auburn, IF, Jr., 5-4, Dothan, Ala.
Kelsey Stewart, Florida, IF, Sr., 5-6, Wichita, Kan.
Alex Hugo, Georgia, IF, Sr., 5-8, Olathe, Kan.
Bianka Bell, LSU, IF, Sr., 5-5, Tampa, Fla.
Haylie McCleney, Alabama, OF, Sr., 5-4, Morris, Ala.
Tiffany Howard, Auburn, OF, Sr., 5-5, Pembroke, Ga.
Kirsti Merritt, Florida, OF, Sr., 5-4, Lake Pansoffkee, Fla.
Alaynie Page, South Carolina, OF, Sr., 5-6, Boiling Springs, S.C.
Alexis Osorio, Alabama, P, So., 5-8, Riverside, Calif.
Kelsey Nunley, Kentucky, P, Sr., 5-10, Soddy Daisy, Tenn.
Carley Hoover, LSU, P, So., 6-2, Clemson, S.C.
Aubree Munro, Florida, C, Sr., 5-10, Brea, Calif.
Rainey Gaffin, Tennessee, DP/U, Sr., 5-10, Thornton, Calif.

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