AMERICUS, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern softball team was picked to finish seventh in the Peach Belt Conference Preseason Coaches Poll that was released Thursday morning.
GSW picked up 34 points and finished ahead of Francis Marion (32), Augusta (31), UNC Pembroke (27) and USC Aiken (17).
Reigning PBC Champs, North Georgia, received all ten first-place votes to finish atop the poll with 100 points. Young Harris (85) was second, followed by Georgia College (84), Columbus (73), Lander (62) and Flagler College (60).
The Lady Canes return all-time home run leader for GSW and PBC Preseason All-Conference utility player Hayley Tierce. They also return leading pitcher Madason Messer, first baseman Lauren Kuerzi and Elizabeth Wills, who plays outfielder. Messer, a senior, made 29 appearances at the plate. She started 18 games for the Lady Canes and posted an 8-10 record with a 5.66 ERA. The sophomore Kuerzi led with 272 putouts for a .993 fielding percentage and had 32 RBIs and four home runs. Wills, a sophomore, is currently ranked fourth in the PBC with home runs. She finished with 30 RBIs and 11 home runs last season.
Nicki Levering enters her second year as head coach of the Lady Canes and is looking forward to returning back to the PBC Tournament. Last season, they finished 18-34, going 7-13 in PBC play as they lost to North Georgia in the PBC Quarterfinals.
GSW, who was ranked 10th in last year's poll, will open their season in the Flagler Invitational on February 2-3.
2019 Peach Belt Softball
Preseason Coaches Poll
|1.||North Georgia (10)||100|