AMERICUS, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern State University softball team has been picked to finish 10th in a poll of the Peach Belt Conference head coaches released Thursday.
GSW tallied 17 points, receiving one eighth place vote, five ninth and four 10th place votes.
The University of North Georgia is the favorite to win their fifth straight PBC Championship. The Nighthawks garnered nine of a possible 10 first-place votes for 99 points. Flagler was second in the voting with 85 points, two ahead of third-place Young Harris.
Georgia College was voted fourth with Columbus State fifth and Lander sixth. Francis Marion, UNC Pembroke and USC Aiken were sixth-ninth in front of the Lady Canes and Augusta rounded out the voting.
First year head coach Nicki Levering inherits a GSW team that went 22-32 overall in 2017 and 7-17 in PBC play. The Lady Canes return senior outfielder Mikela Barlow (Baxley, Ga.) who hit .387 a year ago with 13 doubles, two home runs and 18 RBIs.
Junior Hayley Tierce (Warner Robins, Ga.), a Second Team NFCA All-Southeast Region selection in 2017 also returns for GSW. Tierce started 53 games and led the Lady Canes in home runs (12), doubles (13), slugging percentage (.679) and runs batted in (51). Tierce is currently tied for the all-time career home run lead at GSW.