hazy
Friday May 29th, 2015 6:25AM

North Georgia softball ranked No. 12 in Div. II preseason poll

By staff
The University of North Georgia softball team will start the 2013 season ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II as voted on by 16 head coaches from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The 16 coaches cover the eight regions in the nation with two coaches representing each region.

Valdosta State University was the unanimous No. 1 selection after going 58-5 en route to claiming the 2012 NCAA Division II national crown. UC San Diego was tabbed second ahead of Kutztown, Angelo State and Southern Connecticut State.

"We are very honored to have the respect from the NFCA and the national softball community," stated head coach Mike Davenport. "We understand the expectations that the North Georgia Softball Program has and we look forward to the 2013 season. The 2013 schedule will pose a great challenge for our team this season and we look forward to competing against some of the nation's best programs."

Also making an appearance in the preseason poll from the Peach Belt Conference are Columbus State University in 10th, Flagler College in a tie for 13th with Rollins College and Armstrong Atlantic State University appearing in 20th.

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, Southeast Region Pitcher of the Year and All-American Melissa Dickie. Of the returners, seniors Katherine Martin, Karlie Gillam and Kayla Minger along with Dickie were named to the 2013 PBC Preseason All-Conference team.

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-Sunday.

From there, North Georgia will play in four more early season tournaments, including hosting the North Georgia
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.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
VIDEO: Spring sports standouts provided countless memories for area fans
It's been an incredible few months on the prep sports scene... And we've been lucky enough to see a lot of it in person.
By Bailey Pless
5:48PM ( 11 hours from now )
Ralston guns down another tournament title, sets personal bests in process
Gainesville prep golfer Spencer Ralston began his summer tournament schedule with a bang this week, winning the Orchard Hills Junior Classic in Newnan by firing an 18-under-par 126 over 36 holes.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:59AM ( 5 hours from now )
Georgia, ex-Habersham standout McCoy chosen as Nicklaus Award finalist
Georgia golfer Lee McCoy has been chosen as one of five finalists for the 2015 Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Thursday.
By UGA Sports Communications
11:00AM ( 4 hours from now )
Giants use 6-run 8th to rout Braves
Brandon Belt's solo home run in the seventh inning broke up a scoreless pitching duel and the San Francisco Giants won their fourth straight, beating the Atlanta Braves 7-0 on Thursday night.
By The Associated Press
1:06AM ( 5 hours ago )
Opinion: Gainesville's heroic effort a worthy cap to an astounding prep season
Any coach, athlete, parent or booster that follows prep sports witnessed some amazing moments over the last few weeks -- from championships (some historic), to heartbreak and everything in between, as area teams and individuals provided us with a stunning finish to the 2014-15 high school sports campaign.
9:13PM ( 9 hours ago )