For the second consecutive season, Troy Softball was picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Preseason Coaches’ Poll while Katie Webb, Leanna Johnson, Kelly Horne and Katie Lively were tabbed members of the all-conference team, the league announced Monday.
The Trojans placed a program-best four players on the Preseason All-Sun Belt squad, the most honorees the Trojans have placed since joining the league in the 2004-05 season.
“We are just really excited to get back out there and compete,” Head Coach Beth Mullins said. “Preseason rankings are just that, but our goal as a team is to win each moment and take it one game at a time.
“If we do that, we will be where we want to be at the end of the year.”
Horne, Johnson, and Lively all earned their first preseason nod from the conference, while Webb received preseason honors for the third consecutive season.
“I’m proud of Leanna, Kelly, Katie, and Katie,” Mullins said. “I think they all had great seasons last year and earned the honor of being placed on the all-conference team.”
Webb notches her third preseason all-conference selection after being dubbed a member of the 2019 and 2020 Preseason All-Sun Belt teams.
Last season, Webb started 22 games at first base and tied for the team-lead in batting (.368) alongside fellow all-conference selection, Horne. The senior recorded a team-leading 25 hits and had eight games with multiple hits.
Joining Webb on the preseason squad is reigning Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference Selection Johnson.
Johnson led the Sun Belt in seven of the 11 major pitching categories in 2020, including strikeouts (137), shutouts (7), wins (11), and opposing batting average (.153). The sophomore recorded 59 more strikeouts and four more shutouts over 20 more innings of work than any other pitcher in the conference.
In the shortened season, Horne started and played 22 games for the Trojans at second base, leading the team with 18 RBIs, a .368 batting average, and a .667 slugging percentage. The Tallahassee, Florida, native finished with the sixth-best batting average in the league, fifth-best slugging percentage, and seventh-most RBIs.
One of three Trojans to appear in all 23 games of the 2020 season, Lively hit .365 and smashed a team-leading eight doubles, the second most two-base hits in the Sun Belt. Lively also added three home runs, 14 RBIs, and 41 total bases (fourth-most in the conference) to her stat line.
The Trojans are set to open the 2021 season at the Troy Softball Complex this Friday, Feb. 12 for a doubleheader against Ole Miss (2 p.m.) and Chattanooga (4 p.m.).