BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | Southern University Jaguars softball team was selected to finish fourth in the Western Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Kiarra Suttles was named First Team Preseason All-Conference, and Aubrion James was named Second Team All-Conference team, announced by the conference office Monday morning.
Southern (17-22 overall, 7-10 conference) finished last season one game shy of the conference finals held at Alabama State University Softball Complex.
Suttles (C-Chattanooga, Tn-SR) was named First Team Preseason catcher after a surprisingly not making the postseason list last season. Suttles by far has been the best catcher in the league the past two season. In 2016, she led the nation in home runs per game, slugging percentage, and runs batted in per game. She was again near the top of the SWAC in multiple power-hitting categories. She recorded team-high 31 hits, eight home runs, stole a career-high 10 bases, despite being hit by a piece a league-high 14 times which ranked 10th in the NCAA and walked 12 times which was third in the SWAC behind teammates Shauna Knighten(15) and Sydney Andrews(16).
James (OF/P-Marion, Al.-So.) was named to Second Team Preseason pitcher after a prolific rookie season. Aubrion 41 strikeouts last season was the most thrown by a freshman since Southern standout Kayleigh Thomas tossed out 72 batters during the 2013-14 season. James appeared in 31 total games and 19 in the circle for the Jaguars and started 16 of those and seven in the outfield. James pitched a team-high 92.1 innings, posted a 2.73 era and closed seven games.