BRISTOL, Tenn. – Following their second Conference Carolinas Softball Championship and NCAA Softball Championship berth, the King University softball team has been selected first in the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll.
The Tornado are tied atop the poll with 2018 regular season champion Limestone College. King won the tournament, earning the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Division II Softball Championship.
King and Limestone both received 90 points and four first place votes in the poll. The tandem was followed by Erskine College who had 88 points and two first place votes and North Greenville University who received the final first place vote and 71 points.
The Tornado set a school record with 36 wins a season ago and went 13-7 in Conference Carolinas play, winning the tournament title. In the NCAA Regional, King went 2-2, becoming the first King team to win an NCAA Tournament game. Both of their defeats came at top-seed and top-ranked University of North Georgia.
King returns two of their four All-Conference Carolinas selections as first baseman Kay Brokering and third baseman Jenna Burnett were both selected to the first team. Burnett also garnered All-Region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and the D2CCA. The Tornado also return pitcher Leslie Odom who was the Conference Carolinas Softball Championship's Most Valuable Player.
The Tornado open the season on February 19 and 20 when they host Queens University at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday before taking on Carson-Newman University on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.
The full Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll is below. (First place votes)
T1. King - 90 (4)
T1. Limestone - 90 (4)
3. Erskine - 88 (2)
4. North Greenville - 71 (1)
5. Lees-McRae – 56
6. Mount Olive – 55
7. Emmanuel – 51
8. Southern Wesleyan – 32
9. Belmont Abbey – 31
10. Barton – 30
11. Converse - 11