Jan. 20, 2009
Auburn, Ala. -
The Auburn softball team was predicted to finish fourth in the Southeastern Conference's Western Division in 2009 in a preseason vote by league coaches, the SEC announced today.
The coaches picked last season's league champion Florida to repeat as conference champions in 2009.
"Being picked fourth will certainly motive this team as the season progresses," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "I think with so many young players on our team, a lot of teams were looking at that when the votes were decided."
The Tigers are coming off a 38-22 overall record and a third-place finish in the SEC West last season. Auburn advanced to the program's fifth NCAA Regional in 2008.
Auburn opens the 2009 season Feb. 6-8, at the Florida International Tournament in Miami. The Tigers play Jacksonville at 10 a.m. Feb. 6, and follow that with a 2 p.m. game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Auburn will play host FIU at 3 p.m. Feb. 7, and North Carolina at 5 p.m. The Tigers close the tournament with an 8:30 a.m. game against Louisville Feb. 8.
The Tigers open their home schedule with a 6 p.m. game against Georgia State Feb. 11 and then host the Tiger Invitational Feb. 13-15.
Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5 basis for the Eastern Division and on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the Western Division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. The league will begin softball action Feb. 5-8. The 2009 SEC Softball Tournament will be held May 7-9 at Sherri Parker Lee Softball Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
Conference Champion: Florida (10), Alabama (1)
1. Florida (10 points)
2. Tennessee (19 points)
3. Georgia (30 points)
4. South Carolina (36 points)
5. Kentucky (45 points)
1. Alabama (10 points)
2. LSU (21 points)
3. Mississippi State (30 points)
4. Auburn (35 points)
5. Arkansas (49 points)
6. Ole Miss (50 points)