Softball picked to repeat as SSC champs; selected preseason #1

Softball picked to repeat as SSC champs; selected preseason #1

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SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University softball, the 2016 Sunshine State Conference champions, was unanimously named No. 1 in the 2017 SSC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll announced Tuesday afternoon. The Lions received 64 total votes with all eight possible first-place votes from opposing coaches.

The Lions finished 2016 ranked No. 16 in the NFCA poll after posting a 39-8 and 21-3 SSC record on the way to winning the second SSC title in program history. Saint Leo saw their 2016 season come to an end at the hands of the eventual national champion, North Alabama, in the NCAA Division II South Regional I in Florence, Ala.

"We appreciate seeing our team at the top of the SSC preseason poll, but we realize how talented and competitive the SSC is year-after-year." Head Coach Erin Kinberger stated. "I am very proud of our kids, culture, and program. We understand our standing comes from work done last season; we are remaining focused on the details and doing our job great, success will be a by-product." 

Saint Leo finished the season ranked first in the SSC in batting average (.323), fielding percentage (.974), ERA (0.93), stolen bases (102), and win percentage (.830). The Lions' ERA was ranked first in all of NCAA Division II. All three of the Lions pitchers from the 2016 staff were ranked inside the top-16 in the nation in ERA led by Alana Tabel (0.66) who finished second in the nation. Returnees Stephanie Adkins (0.99) finished ninth in the country as Samantha Tyler (1.26) finished 16th.

The Lions open the 2017 slate with a doubleheader at Flagler on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Following the opening games at Flagler, the Lions will travel to Clearwater, Fla., to take part in the Eckerd Tournament at the Eddie Moore Complex where they will face Chadron State, Florida Southern, and host Eckerd.

Saint Leo will host Embry-Riddle on Friday, Feb. 24 for their home opener at University Softball Field.

For more information on the Saint Leo softball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

 

2017 SSC SOFTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL

Rank
1
2
3
4
5
5
7
8
9

School (FPV)
Saint Leo (8)
Rollins (1)
Florida Tech
Barry
Eckerd
Tampa
Florida Southern
Lynn
Nova Southeastern

Total Votes
64
54
53
41
33
33
24
13
10