Jan. 25, 2011
Auburn, Ala. - The Auburn softball team has been predicted to finish third in the Southeastern Conference Western Division and sixth overall in the 2011 SEC preseason poll conducted by league coaches.
The Tigers enter the 2011 season with seven position starters and three pitchers returning from last season's squad that finished 31-26 overall, 11-17 in the SEC, and advanced to NCAA Regional play for the seventh time in program history.
Kyndall White (Pinson, Ala.) is one of four seniors on the Auburn roster. As a junior in 2010 White earned Second Team All-SEC honors after hitting .356 with 14 home runs and 34 RBI. White enters the 2011 season seventh in Auburn history with 22 career home runs.
Auburn opens the 2011 season at the All-Alabama Classic Tournament Feb. 12-13, at the Vestavia Hills Sports Complex at Liberty Park in Birmingham, Ala.
Alabama was picked to win the 2011 title. In a tight vote, the Tide led in votes with four of 11 possible, followed by Georgia and Tennessee with three each and Florida with one.
The No. 4/7 Tennessee Lady Vols, 2010 WCWS participants, were voted to win the Eastern Division with 17 points, in addition to receiving three votes for the overall SEC title. Another WCWS participant, the Georgia Bulldogs is predicted to finish a close second in the East with 18 points. The Bulldogs also received three first-place votes and are ranked No. 3 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 4 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Rounding out the East are the No. 5 Florida Gators with 22 points, the Kentucky Wildcats with 37 points and the South Carolina Gamecocks with 46 points. The Gators, the third team to represent the SEC at the 2010 WCWS, also received a vote to win the overall title.
In the Western Division, No. 16/19 LSU was voted to finish second behind the Crimson Tide with 19 points, followed by Auburn with 33 points. The Arkansas Razorbacks tallied 36 points for a fourth-place vote in the division, while Mississippi State earned 46 points for fifth-place in the division. Ole Miss tallied 51 points to close out the West.
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. 10. The 2011 SEC Softball Tournament will be held May 12-14 at Ole Miss Softball Complex in Oxford, Miss.
2011 Preseason Poll Conference Champion: Alabama (4), Tennessee (3), Georgia (3), Florida (1)
1. Tennessee (17 points)
2. Georgia (18 points)
3. Florida (22 points)
4. Kentucky (37 points)
5. South Carolina (46 points)
1. Alabama (10 points)
2. LSU (19 points)
3. Auburn (33 points)
4. Arkansas (36 points)
5. Mississippi State (46 points)
6. Ole Miss (51 points)