The University of Louisville’s Megan Hensley and Sidney Melton were selected to the 2019 Preseason All-ACC Team as voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches. Additionally, the Cardinals were picked to finish fifth overall and third in the Atlantic Division.
Hensley (Ashland, Ky.) is a two-time all-ACC and all-National Fastpitch Coaches (NFCA) All-Southeast Region honoree. The pitcher/designated player enters her senior season as one of Louisville’s all-time leaders at the plate and in the circle. The two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-Southeast Region selection (2016, 2018) earned all-ACC first team honors last season after leading the Cardinals with nine home runs, a .625 slugging percentage and 49 RBIs. She also led the pitching staff with a 17-8 record and 138 strikeouts in 184.0 innings. Hensley earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA and USA Softball and ESPNW National Player of the Week honors, become the first player in program history to sweep the trio of awards.
Melton, a redshirt senior from Columbus, Ohio is also one of Louisville’s top returners. The infielder led the 2018 Cardinals with a career-best 45 runs, placing her ninth on the program’s single season list. She earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team honors after batting .329, going 15-for-15 in stolen bases and belting out three home runs. Last year’s accomplishments came after sitting out for the majority of the 2017 campaign due to a season-ending injury in the third week of play. As a sophomore, she led the team with 43 runs and 15 stolen bases and stood second on the team with a .365 batting average.
In the team preseason poll, reigning national champion Florida State was unanimously selected to win its sixth-straight ACC regular season title. Notre Dame, North Carolina and Pitt respectively filled out the top five ahead of the Cardinals, who are coming off of a 33-20 campaign and a 10-12 mark in conference play.
In the Atlantic Division preseason standings, Louisville was picked to finish third behind Florida State and Notre Dame. Syracuse, Boston College and NC State round out the division.
LOUISVILLE SOFTBALL NOTES
The 2019 campaign marks Louisville’s 20th season as a program and first under new head coach Holly Aprile’s tutelage.
• Louisville returns 14 letterwinners and six starters as well as five pitchers. Louisville also welcomes the addition of five freshmen to the 2019 roster.
• Among the returners are National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region selections junior Caitlin Ferguson (Versailles, Ky.) and senior Megan Hensley (Ashland, Ky.) as well as all-ACC honoree senior Sidney Melton (Columbus, Ohio) and sophomore Maddy Newman (Osceola, Ind.) who earned all-ACC freshman team honors last year. Junior Celene Funke (Carmel, Ind.) also returns after leading the team with a .355 batting average along with sophomore Danielle Watson (Osceola, Ind.) who posted 14 wins in the circle during her freshman campaign.
• The Cardinals will open the 2019 season February 8-10 at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Classic where they will take on Idaho State, Fullerton, Buffalo, Northwestern and Utah State.
• Louisville will open play at Ulmer Stadium March 1-3 with the Cardinal Classic which features Indiana State, Missouri and IUPUI.
The Aprile Era
This marks the first season under new head coach Holly Aprile. The 2018 ACC Coach of the Year spent 10 seasons (2009-18) as Pittsburgh’s head coach and five years (2004-08) as an assistant. In 2018, she earned ACC Coach of the Year honors after leading the Panthers to the 2018 ACC Coastal Division title and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament.
2019 PRESEASON ALL-ACC TEAM
Raine Wilson, Duke
Carsyn Gordon, Florida State
Sydney Sherrill, Florida State
Sidney Melton, Louisville
Olivia Gray, Pitt
Dani Morgan, Florida State
Kiani Ramsey, North Carolina
Bryce Holmgren, Syracuse
Abby Sweet, Notre Dame
Meghan King, Florida State
Brittany Pickett, North Carolina
Alexa Romero, Syracuse
Carrie Eberle, Virginia Tech
Anna Shelnutt, Florida State
Designated Player | Utility
Megan Hensley, Louisville
2019 PRESEASON ACC COACHES POLL
Florida State (121 points, 11 first-place votes)
Notre Dame (102 points)
North Carolina (95 points)
Pitt (88 points)
Louisville (75 points)
Duke (69 points)
Georgia Tech (55 points)
Syracuse (51 points)
Boston College (47 points)
Virginia Tech (41 points, 1 first-place vote)
NC State (29 points)
Virginia (19 points)
Fans can follow Louisville Softball on Twitter (@UofLsoftball) at https://twitter.com/UofLSoftball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LouisvilleSoftball
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics
2100 S. Floyd, Louisville, KY 40292
w: 502.852.3086 | c: 502.445.9434
Lori@GoCards.com | GoCards.com