CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Campbell softball team was selected to finish third in the Big South Preseason Coaches' Poll as announced by the conference office on Monday.
Last season, The Camels completed their first campaign in the Big South since 1994 with a 30-29 overall and 12-9 league record to earn the fourth seed in the conference tournament. The fourth-place finish was the same as the team's preseason ranking by the coaches.
Coastal Carolina (78) was honored as the preseason favorite with seven first-place votes, while Charleston Southern (68) earned two first-place nods to finish second. Following Campbell, the poll was rounded out with newcomer Longwood (47), Radford (44), Gardner-Webb (38), Liberty (35), Winthrop (19) and Presbyterian (18).
The league also announced that Coastal Carolina third baseman Kory Hayden was given Big South Preseason Player of the Year acknowledgement, while Radford pitcher Jackie Jenkins took the top preseason pitching accolades.
Campbell lost two starters from last year's squad and returns 19 letterwinners including nine upperclassmen. The Camels brought in four newcomers – freshmen outfielder Haley Haselden (Aynor, S.C.), catcher Courtney Klinger (Alvin, Texas) and Courtney Roberts (Simpsonville, S.C.) and junior infielder Amanda Daw (Pantego, N.C.) – to the squad.
Sophomores Ericka Nesbitt (Salisbury, N.C.) and outfielder Stephanie Jones (Black Mountain, N.C.) have already earned preseason acknowledgment on the College Sports Madness Big South Preseason First Team. The second team consisted of junior infielder Raven Lee (Battleboro, N.C.) and senior outfielder Sarah Forgacs (Cary, N.C.) from Campbell.
The Camels open the 2013 campaign with the Hampton Inn Invitational on Feb. 8 with a doubleheader against Virginia and St. Bonaventure beginning at 4 p.m. Tournament play at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium begins at 9 a.m. on Feb. 8-9 with George Washington, Seton Hall and Robert Morris among the other teams in attendance.
|2013 Big South Preseason Poll|
|Team (First-Place Votes)||Total|
|Coastal Carolina (7)||78|
|Charleston Southern (2)||68|