clear
Tuesday July 7th, 2015 4:53AM

North Georgia softball a preseason PBC favorite for fifth straight year

By staff
The University of North Georgia softball team has been named the favorite to win the Peach Belt Conference title for the fifth straight year as selected by the conference coaches. The preseason poll was released by the conference office Monday afternoon.

The Saints claimed four first-place votes, six second-place votes and one third-place vote to finish with 113 total points, 11 more than second-place Flagler College which also received four first-place nods.

Rounding out the top-five were Armstrong Atlantic State University and Columbus State University tied for third and the University of South Carolina Aiken in fifth. Augusta State University was chosen sixth while Francis Marion University, Georgia College, Lander University and the University of North Carolina Pembroke were chosen seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th respectively. Georgia Southwestern State University and Young Harris College rounded out the voting.

"Our program is honored to have the respect of the Peach Belt Conference but we also understand that championships are not won in January," said head coach Mike Davenport. "Preseason polls are great for the fans of Division II softball but I think all the teams are excited to get onto the field of play and prove themselves through competition.

"We understand and appreciate the parity in the PBC and this season looks to be no different," Davenport continued. "Last year we saw three different champions between the conference regular season, tournament and NCAA regional and I don't see this year playing out any differently."

The Saints finished the 2012 season ranked No. 10 in the nation with a record of 49-10. It was the fourth straight year North Georgia finished with at 40 or more wins and finished in the top-10 in the nation. The Saints also finished the season by hosting the NCAA Southeast Regionals for the fourth year in a row and advanced to their fifth straight NCAA Division II tournament appearance.

North Georgia returns four starting infielders, three outfielders with extensive experience and two pitchers including 2012 PBC Freshman of the Year Melissa Dickie. Davenport also brought into the fold 10 newcomers.

The 2013 season will begin this weekend with the Saints traveling to Columbus, Ga. for the Peach Belt Conference-Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Challenge, the first cross-conference event featuring four teams from both the PBC and SSC to kick off the season. The tournament will last from Saturday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 3.

From there, North Georgia will play in four more early season tournaments, including hosting the North Georgia
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
No. 19 Georgia blows past Illinois
Shacobia Barbee had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead No. 19 Georgia over Illinois 82-60 on Saturday.
10:42PM ( 1 year ago )
Dogs will face Nebraska without standout DE Moss
Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
10:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Georgia Southern coach Monken headed for Army
Desperate to snap its long losing streak against its archrival, Army has hired former Navy assistant Jeff Monken as its 37th football coach.
1:04PM ( 1 year ago )
College Sports
Two-A-Days: High school football countdown is on, starting with Banks County
Believe it or not there are only 45 days left until the start of the 2015 high school football season around the state and here in northeast Georgia...
1:00PM ( 8 hours from now )
Braves halt Brewers' 8-game win streak, 5-3
Kelly Johnson homered and drove in three runs as the Atlanta Braves ended the Milwaukee Brewers' eight-game winning streak with a 5-3 victory Monday night.
12:13AM ( 4 hours ago )
Carli Lloyd becomes Captain America for US women
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — For a brief time Sunday night, Carli Lloyd's Wikipedia page listed her position as "President of the United States."More like Captain America.Lloyd scored three goal...
8:05AM ( 20 hours ago )
Earnhardt, Jr. wins, Austin Dillon crashes hard at Daytona
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. endured a weekend of rain, a three-hour-plus pre-race delay, and nine caution flags to win the Coke-Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway early Monday morning.
By Bill Speros-NASCAR Wire Service
3:15AM ( 1 day ago )
Lloyd hat trick leads US over Japan 5-2 for World Cup title
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Carli Lloyd lives for the big moment. She had her biggest on Sunday night — and gave the United States its record third Women's World Cup title.Lloyd scored three ti...
1:06AM ( 1 day ago )