CORPUS CHRISTI – After winning the first Southland Conference softball regular-season title in Islanders program history and posting a 41-19 record last season, the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team has high expectations heading into the 2012 season. The Islanders return eight key players including four starters from last season's team. First-year head coach Stephanie Hughes, who took over the reins in August will jumpstart her career when the Islanders open the 2012 season on Friday, Feb. 10, at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic in Houston, Texas. The Islanders will take on Houston, Oklahoma State and North Texas over the three-day event. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will open their home slate against Baylor for a three-game series on Friday, Feb. 17, including a double-header on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi returns two players selected on the all-conference teams and were selected to finish second in the 2012 Southland Conference Preseason Coaches' poll behind Texas State, who won the Southland Conference tournament. The Islanders received five first-place votes and a total of 87 points. In the Preseason Sports Information Director's poll the Islanders were tabbed third behind Texas State and UT Arlington with four first-place votes and a total of 80 points.
Senior Hannah Schwarz, returns as a First Team selection for the second straight year after starting 58 of the Islanders 59 games last season. Senior Vianca Pesina returns as a Second Team selection after going 12-5 in the circle with a 2.26 ERA last season, which was sixth best in the conference.
- Hannah Schwarz returns to the Islanders lineup after recording the highest batting average on the team at .345 which was good for third in the conference.
- All four pitchers return to the circle for the Islanders in addition to one freshman. Greta Cecchetti is one of four pitchers returning. She led the Islanders in the circle last season. Cecchetti started 16 games in the circle while posting a team-best 1.77 ERA and going 8-6. She was second on the team with one save. She threw 106.2 innings while striking out 81 batters.
- The Islanders outfield is made up of all seniors with one senior in the infield.
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