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AU’s softball team picked second in Empire 8 preseason coaches’ poll
2/26/09

ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University softball team is second in the Empire 8 Conference’s 2009 coaches’ preseason poll, released this week.

AU is picked to finish behind last year’s regular season conference champ, Ithaca. The Lady Saxons are coming off a 2008 season in which they finished second in the conference with a 24-13 record, with the 24 wins representing a new school single-season record.

The team has eight starters and has added two-time junior college All-American shortstop Samantha Rollins (Hornell, NY/Hornell) to the lineup. Rollins, last year’s Junior College Player of the Year, is a junior who helped lead Monroe Community College to consecutive national championships in 2007 and 2008.

Also back are a pair of First Team Empire 8 all-stars, junior second baseman Karen Folts (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) and sophomore first baseman Ashley Passaro (Long Beach, NY/Long Beach), and two NFCA regional all-stars, junior third baseman Jesika LeBarron (Campbell, NY/Corning West) and junior centerfielder Jessica Figallo (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood). Passaro was also an ECAC Upstate First Team all-star a year ago.

After AU, St. John Fisher (last year’s conference tournament champ) is picked to finish third, followed by Nazareth, RIT and Elmira and Utica (tied for sixth). Alfred begins its season March 7-15 with 12 games in Cocoa Beach, FL.