Posted: Jan 28, 2013 11:04 AM
BIRMINGHAM, AL -- The University of Missouri softball team was picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division in the league's annual preseason coaches' poll. The Tigers totaled 30 points, the fourth-lowest total across the entire conference.
Mizzou returns 15 letterwinners from last season's 47-14 squad that advanced to the program's fifth-straight NCAA Super Regional. The Tigers are led into their inaugural SEC softball season by two-time First Team All-America pitcher Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa). A redshirt senior, Thomas posted an earned run average (ERA) of 1.16 with a 27-9 record last season. Thomas twice earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, taking the honor as a sophomore in 2011 and junior in 2012.
Defending national champion Alabama was predicted to win the 2013 SEC softball title, receiving eight out of 13 possible votes. The Lady Vols picked up the remaining five first-place votes.
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)
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)
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)