ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum College's Jenica Fernandez has been named to the 2007 Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference softball team announced league officials Thursday. The Pioneers, under first-year head coach Fred Gillum, were picked to finish eighth according to the SAC Coaches' Poll.

Fernandez, a 5-5 senior from Phoenix, Ariz., was honored as an outfielder on the Preseason All-SAC Second Team. Fernandez batted .275 in her 52 games, including 48 starts. She scored 18 runs while driving in 16 runs batted in, to go along with four doubles and three triples.

Tusculum returns 10 letterwinners, including six starters from last year's 18-32-2 squad. Included amongst the veteran talent is senior catcher Brie Griffin, who batted .300 in 2006. In 2004, Griffin became the first softball player in school history to earn NCAA Division II All-Region honors.

Lenoir-Rhyne College is the favorite to repeat as SAC champions. The Bears received 63 points, including seven first place votes. Wingate University is second with 55 points and a first place nod. Carson-Newman College is third with 47 points, followed by Catawba College (33), Newberry College (32), Presbyterian College (26), Mars Hill College (20) and Tusculum (12).

Tusculum will open the 2007 season, Saturday, Feb. 10 when the Pioneers host Lees-McRae College for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Edmonds Field.