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Coaches pick softball team to win SEC

  • Chris Walsh

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Crimson Tide have been predicted to win the 2013 Southeastern Conference softball title by the league coaches in the annual SEC preseason poll. The Tide finished 60-8 a year ago and claimed the first national title in league history in 2012. Alabama led the way with eight of out of 13 possible votes followed by the Tennessee Lady Vols with five. The Tide are also ranked No. 1 in the preseason USA Today/NFCA poll.

    LSU, coming off the program’s third Women’s College World Series appearance, was picked second in the Western Division with 28 points. Texas A&M was predicted to finish third with 31 points, followed by Arkansas with 51 points. Mississippi State tallied 56 points for a fifth-place vote in the division while Auburn earned 63 points for sixth-place. The Ole Miss Rebels were tabbed seventh with 74 points.

    Tennessee was picked first in the Eastern Division with 12 points. The Lady Vols are the second-highest ranked SEC team in the preseason USA Today/NFCA poll at No. 6. Missouri was predicted to finish second in the East with 30 points while Georgia was tabbed third with 34 points. Rounding out the Eastern Division standings are Florida with 38 points, Kentucky with 58 points and South Carolina with 65 points.

    Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the Eastern Division and a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 basis for the Western Division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.

    The league will begin softball action on Feb. 7, while conference play starts March 8. The 2013 SEC Softball Tournament will be held May 8-11, in Lexington, Ky., at the UK Softball Complex.

    Conference Champion: Alabama (8), Tennessee (5)

    Eastern Division:
    1. Tennessee (12 points)
    2. Missouri (30 points)
    3. Georgia (34 points)
    4. Florida (38 points)
    5. Kentucky (58 points)
    6. South Carolina (65 points)

    Western Division:
    1. Alabama (12 points)
    2. LSU (28 points)
    3. Texas A&M (31 points)
    4. Arkansas (51 points)
    5. Mississippi State (56 points)
    6. Auburn (63 points)
    7. Ole Miss (74 points)

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    Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.

  • JoeRio

    Looking forward to J-Train and crew back on the diamond this season. Last year was such a rush and Coach Patrick
    Murphy made the right move coming back from Baton Rouge after almost being LSU's coach. He's where he belongs
    and I look for continued success and championships ahead. As it should be.....RTR, Ladies!

  • Can't wait to see J-Train and co.

  • BB2One

    Roll Lady Tide ROLL....can't wait as well to watch the girls spin it. Love the game!

  • I'm so excited for softball season. Bama yes, but my daughter plays high school ball and is a junior. She is a late bloomer, but has improved each year by leaps and bounds. She hit .354 as a sophomore at the 6A level. Her last travelball tournament in November, she hit .887 in 13 at bats with 2 walks and a hit batsmen. Anxious to see how she does this year. Sorry for the proud Papa moment!

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  • Guys, I went to the scrimmage yesterday and we looked pretty good. Jackie is Jackie, but Leslie Jury looked really good. She had good location as well as good movement on her pitches. Chaunsey Bell (sophomore catcher) looked good behind the plate with her footwork and her release to second base not to mention the 2 out 2 run single she ripped off of Jackie. Transfer Molly Fichtner also looks good behind the plate. I can't wait for everyone to see Haylie McCleney play. She is Jenn Fenton version 2.0. She hosed fellow freshman Kallie Case a third yesterday from centerfield. I can see her possibly leading off or batting 2nd behind Braud. The one-two punch of speed will definitely be present at the top of the lineup. There is an open scrimmage Saturday at 12:30 followed by an autograph session. Also, there is lunch before the scrimmage at 11:30 that costs $15.

  • BB2One

    Proud no doubt. Good stuff.

    And netny10 - Thanks for the updates. I know you get to see things with the team many of us are interested in and always appreciate the info. We did lose some key spots from last years team, especially early in our batting order - but we also have talent that should be able to help ease the changes. Can't wait to see how it all comes together this season.

    IF we can have two fairly dominate pitchers - what a huge huge bonus. Something maybe we haven't had as much in previous years. That, will only help some of the new additions settle in and give them time to come together.

  • I know the SEC is a tough SB conference and especially the SEC East but how is Florida picked 4th? They seem to always be towards the top in the nation not just the SEC. Is it because of who they lost or who is coming back for the others? UT has their two pitchers back, Mizzou has an ace in Davis, Georgia is always good. Is there a specific reason or is this more like 1 and 2a,b,c. What are your thoughts?

  • I think Mizzou ace you're thinking of is Chelsea Thomas. Florida lost a lot in the Fagan sisters, Coyle, and Schutte. They still have their top pitchers, but that's quite a bit of offense gone off their team. Florida is just a big unknown right now and so the coaches couldn't put them up at the top yet. They may prove to be better than the coaches think.

  • Yes it was Chelsea Thomas I was thinking of. Great pitcher. Didn't realize UF lost that many of their top players. Makes sense. They had a little bit of a down year last year also. Maybe that's part of it. SEC East was brutal before with 3 perennial top 10 teams and now add Missouri.