FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Huntingdon softball team closed out its final three seasons in the Great South Athletic Conference with three appearances in the tournament finals and one conference championship.
As a first-year member of the USA South Athletic Conference, the Lady Hawks have already earned respect from opposing conference coaches. Huntingdon is ranked third in the conference preseason poll released on Wednesday.
Huntingdon, coming off a 25-11 season, finished with 109 points. Piedmont is ranked No. 1 with 10 first-place votes and 142 points and Ferrum is second with three first-place votes and 133 points. Methodist is fourth with 105 points and Meredith is fifth with 97 points.
Piedmont, a NCAA Regional runner-up last season, is also ranked 13th in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association national poll. Ferrum tied Piedmont for the regular-season conference co-championship last season and was the tournament runner-up.
Huntingdon opens the season at Spring Hill on Feb. 7. The Lady Hawks open conference play on March 1, hosting William Peace.
The complete poll is listed below.
USA South Softball Preseason Poll
1. Piedmont (10 first-place votes), 142 points
2. Ferrum (3), 133 points
3. Huntingdon, 109 points
4. Methodist, 105 points
5. Meredith, 97 points
6. LaGrange, 90 points
7. Greensboro, 85 points
8. N.C. Wesleyan, 72 points
9. Averett, 64 points
10. William Peace, 41 points
11. Covenant, 31 points
12. Maryville, 29 points
13. Mary Baldwin, 16 points