by Falcons Sports Information Department
Raleigh, NC (Feb. 11) – Saint Augustine's University opens the 2018 softball season against Benedict College at Lions Park on Monday, Feb. 12, with the first game starting at 1 p.m. The second contest will begin approximately at 3 p.m.
The Lady Falcons return seven student-athletes including a veteran core of seniors who led the team to the CIAA Championship and their first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament berth in 2015. The seniors are Akera McPhaul (Greensboro, NC), Jasmine Rios (Greensboro, NC), Marley Parker (Langley, British Columbia) and Haili Pettifer (Langley, British Columbia).
Last season, McPhaul and Parker were All-CIAA first-team selections as an outfielder and utility player, respectively. Pettifer made the All-CIAA second-team as a catcher and Rios, an outfielder, ranked second nationally in Division II in triples per game.
Also back are sophomores MaKayla August (Palm Springs, CA/Pitcher), Haley Sessoms (Kenansville, NC/Utility Player) and Tamiera Sanchez (Sacramento, CA/Outfielder). All three student-athletes were placed on the All-CIAA Rookie Team as freshmen. August led the nation among Division II batters in triples per game last season.
The Lady Falcons, coached by Dot Neal, led the nation in triples per game last season. They also ranked fourth in runs per game.
After playing Benedict, the Lady Falcons will host St. Andrews University on Thursday, Feb. 15. The doubleheader begins at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.