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UMBC Softball Picked Third in America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Amanda Fefel led UMBC with 13 home runs last season.
Three-time defending champion
The Retrievers’ receive their best preseason billing since joining the America East in 2004. UMBC was picked to finish fourth last season but went into the conference championships as the No. 2 seed behind
Despite losing the big bats of Melanie Denischuk, Krissy Licursi and Reilly Ward, the Retrievers return a powerful lineup that includes first-team all-conference and all-rookie selection Amanda Fefel (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) and second-teamer Ashley Gray (Pasadena, Md./Northeast/Delaware State), as well as senior captains Kali Shirk (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) and Dana Shepherd (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills).
Fefel led UMBC with 13 home runs last season while also pitching to a 13-3 record with a 3.15 ERA and 80 strikeouts, while Gray, also a two-way player, slugged eight homers and posted a miniscule 1.81 ERA with 135 strikeouts.
Shirk and Shepherd, the Retrievers’ catalysts atop the batting order, combined to steal 26 bases and score 74 runs while both hitting better than .300. Shepherd also set UMBC’s single-season record for doubles with 19.
The Retrievers begin their season this weekend at the UNC-Greensboro Spartan Classic. UMBC will take on