Brentwood, TN – Austin Peay State University softball team was picked to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference West Division in the 2014 preseason poll, as voted on by the conference coaches and sports information directors.The Lady Govs received 49 points, placing them ahead of Southeast Missouri (37) in the West.
SIU Edwardsville took the top spot in the West with 129 points, including 19 first-place votes. Eastern Illinois (97, two first-place votes) was second, followed by UT Martin (93, one) and Murray State (82, two).
Defending OVC Tournament champion Jacksonville State (120 points, 12 first-place votes) was tabbed as the top team in the East, followed closely by Eastern Kentucky (118, 12).
Austin Peay returns all-conference honorees Lauren de Castro and Kayla Davidson from a squad that went 18-26 in Stephanie Paris’ first season as head coach, including a 9-17 OVC record. Ten returning letterwinners will be buoyed by 12 newcomers to the Lady Govs ranks.
Regular-season action gets under way for the Lady Govs 1:15pm, Friday, February 7th in Mobile, AL against McNeese State in the Mardi Gras Invitational. Austin Peay hosts IUPUI in its regular season home-opener with a 12:00pm, Saturday, February 15th doubleheader.
2014 OVC Softball Predicted Order of Finish
(as voted on by the league’s head softball coaches and sports information directors)
1. Jacksonville State (12 first-place votes) – 120
2. Eastern Kentucky (12 first-place votes) – 118
3. Tennessee Tech – 86
4. Morehead State – 79
5. Belmont – 54
6. Tennessee State – 35
1. SIUE (19 first-place votes) – 129
2. Eastern Illinois (Two first-place votes) – 97
3. UT Martin (One first-place votes) – 93
4. Murray State (Two first-place votes) – 82
5. Austin Peay – 49
6. Southeast Missouri – 37
(*Schools were not allowed to rank their own team. 6 points awarded for a first-place vote, five for second, etc.)