AUGUSTA, GA – For the first time, North
Georgia College & State University has been named the preseason
favorite to win the Peach Belt Conference softball championship in
a poll of the league’s head coaches released on Wednesday
The Saints received five of a possible nine first-place votes for 76 points, six more than Francis Marion in second place. GCSU was third with 64 while Armstrong Atlantic State was fourth with 62. UNC Pembroke, Columbus State, Augusta State, USC Aiken, Lander and Georgia Southwestern rounded out the voting.
North Georgia finished last season 35-18 overall, 10-8 in conference play, and ranked 12th in the nation as they advanced to the championship game of the PBC Tournament and made their first NCAA South Atlantic Regional appearance. The Saints return 15 players and seven starters from last year’s team including All-American second baseman Laura Voyles, All-Conference outfielder Courtney McGuire, and 20-game winner Sarah Phillips on the mound.
The Saints will open the 2009 season on February 14th against Mars Hill College at the new Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. The stadium will feature 225 stadium-style chairback seats and a state of the art press box.