McCord and D’Orazio Chosen Preseason All-Conference USA
Thundering Herd picked to finish fifth in preseason
IRVING, Texas – Marshall softball seniors Taylor McCord and Elicia D’Orazio were selected to the 2018 Preseason All-Conference USA Team the league office announced Thursday. The Thundering Herd was picked to finish fifth in the preseason polls, as selected by the league coaches.
McCord finished the 2017 season with all offensive career-highs in batting average (.349), runs scored (41), hits (53), doubles (11), home runs (12), runs batted in (52), slugging percentage (.671), on base percentage (.429), walks (24), stolen bases (19) and a career-low 11 strikeouts in 152 at-bats. The Gilbert, Ariz., native reached base safely in 48 of Marshall’s 54 games, recorded a hit in 35 games and drove in a run in 33 contests. She was named Conference USA Player of the Week on March 13, after driving in eight runs in a series sweep of UTSA.
Defensively, the now senior catcher threw out 16 potential base-stealers and picked off nine runners. McCord helped the Herd to the largest stolen base differential in the country (142) as the team stole 162 bases and allowed just 20. For her career, “The Sniper” has 43 runners caught stealing and 20 pickoffs. McCord was honored as a Conference USA first team member and NFCA Mideast All-Region second team selection.
D’Orazio etched her name in to the Marshall and Conference USA record books in 2017. The winner of the Golden Shoe Award, led the country in stolen bases with a program and conference record 59. The Clermont, Fla., native broke Marshall’s single season record on May 5 at home against UAB with four swipes. She cracked the Conference USA record with her 58th steal while taking third against DePaul at the NCAA Regionals in Lexington. She then finished off the record, stealing home and tying the game in the bottom of the sixth. The Puerto Rico National Team member began the 2017 season reaching base safely in the first 30 games. D’Orazio scored a run in 18-straight games beginning at UNC and then for the duration of the Herd’s record-setting 17-game winning streak.
Along with a career-high in steals, D’Orazio also established career-bests in batting average (.397), runs scored (49), hits (73), doubles (6), triples (3), slugging percentage (.462), on base percentage (.432) and a career-low of just 14 strikeouts in 184 at-bats. The now senior infielder was honored as a Conference USA second team member and NFCA Mideast All-Region first team selection.
Marshall gets the 2018 season started in just 22 days at Auburn on Feb. 8.
2018 Conference USA Softball Preseason All-Conference Team
Pitcher: Shannon Saile, FIU, So.
Pitcher: Haley Wiseman, Charlotte, Sr.
Pitcher: Krystal De La Cruz, Louisiana Tech, Jr.
Catcher: Taylor McCord, Marshall, Sr.
Catcher: Alex Miller, Florida Atlantic, Sr.
Catcher: Marilyn Rizzato, Louisiana Tech, So.
Infielder: Haley Pace, Charlotte, Sr.
Infielder: Emily Lochten, Florida Atlantic, Sr.
Infielder: Elicia D’Orazio, Marshall, Sr.
Infielder: Cortney Smith, UTEP, Jr.
Infielder: Grace Beatty, Charlotte, Sr.
Outfielder: Precious Birdsong, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
Outfielder: Jackie Schoff, FIU, Jr.
Outfielder: Madisyn Palmer, Florida Atlantic, Jr.
Outfielder: Morgan Turkoly, Louisiana Tech, Jr.
DP/Utility: Lacy Gregory, North Texas, So.
2018 Preseason Player of the Year
Emily Lochten, Florida Atlantic, Sr.
2018 Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Shannon Saile, FIU, So.
2018 Preseason Poll
1. Louisiana Tech
3. Florida Atlantic
8. North Texas
9. Southern Miss
11. Middle Tennessee