LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Univerity of Rio Grande has been picked to finish sixth in the 2013 Mid-South Conference softball preseason coaches poll released Monday by league officials.
The RedStorm collected 55 points in the balloting of the 11 coaches in the conference. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team.
Rio finished 24-20 overall and 12-10 in the MSC last season, their first under head coach Kristen Bradshaw.
The RedStorm returns its leading hitter in senior outfielder Kaylee Walk (Unionville Center, OH), a first team all-MSC selection last year who batted .388 with 57 hits, 36 runs scored and 14 stolen bases, in addition to senior second baseman Katie Fuller (Hamilton, OH), a second team all-MSC pick who hit .299 with one home run, 14 doubles and 32 runs batted in.
Lindsey Wilson College was the overwhelming top pick, grabbing nine first place nods and 99 points. The Blue Raiders have won at least a share of the conference’s regular season title each of the last three seasons.
Campbellsville University was second in the poll with 87 voting points and the final two first-place votes, with Georgetown College tallying 82 voting points for third.
Shawnee State University was fourth with 72 voting points, while Cumberland University — who begins its first season in the MSC as a full member since 2001 — grabbed fifth place with 61 voting points.
Behind Rio Grande, St. Catharine College (45 points) and UVA-Wise (44) were projected to finish seventh and eighth, respectively, while University of the Cumberlands and University of Pikeville tied for ninth in the poll with 25 voting points each.
Bluefield College — who enters its first season in the MSC in 2013 — rounds out the coaches’ poll with 10 voting points.
The 2013 MSC softball season begins in mid-February with conference play beginning later that month.