WINTER PARK, Fla. – Earning 100 points, the Saint Leo softball team was chosen to finish fifth in the Sunshine State Conference Preseason poll, it was announced Thursday by league officials.
The Lions return nine players and four starters from last year's squad, a team that hit nearly .300 for the season and stole over 100 bases. Saint Leo fisnished the 2011 campaign with a 25-29 overall record, a 9-15 SSC mark, and a seventh place conference finish.
Rollins, looking to defend its 2011 league crown, and sporting a 45-4 record a year ago, is expected collect league honors again, tallying 189 points with nine first-place votes.
In what is predicted to be a closely contested battle, Rollins received the preseason nod to defend its Sunshine State Conference softball crown in 2012. Sitting just four points behind the Tars was Tampa, which received 179 points and collected the other nine first-place votes. Barry took the No. 3 slot in the poll with 151 points, while Florida Southern (122 points) was predicted to finish fourth.
Nova Southeastern and the Lions were predicted to tie for fifth place in the rankings, with each team gathering 100 points.
Florida Tech (67), Lynn (46), and Eckerd (24) rounded out the poll.
Voting is done by the Sunshine State Conference's Athletic Communication Director's and Head Coaches.
2012 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE PRESEASON SOFTBALL POLL
Rank - Team, Place (1st Place Votes)
1 - Rollins, 183 (9)
2 - Tampa, 179 (9)
3 - Barry, 151
4 - Florida Southern, 122
T5 - Nova Southeastern, 100
T5 - Saint Leo, 100
7 - Florida Tech, 67
8 - Lynn, 46
9 - Eckerd, 24