KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Spring Hill College softball team received 572 votes including one 1st place vote to find itself ranked No. 2 in the 2014 NAIA Coaches Preseason Poll released on Tuesday afternoon. The ranking marks the highest preseason ranking for the Badgers in their 17 seasons of existence.
SHC recorded a 49-17 overall record in 2013 and finished the year as the NAIA National Runner-Up to 2013 NAIA National Champion Concordia College (Calif.) (52-3) who opens 2014 as the No. 1 team with 591 votes and the remaining 20 possible 1st place votes.
Four other Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) teams joined SHC in the Top 25 as Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) appeared at No. 7, Belhaven University came in at No. 9, Brenau University is No. 17, and William Carey University is No. 21. The University at Mobile also received 51 votes and would be No. 32.
The NAIA poll is voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independent and unaffiliated groupings.
NAIA 1st team All-America sophomore Caroline Sagrera of Baton Rouge, La., returns to the circle for the Badgers after a freshman season in which she re-wrote the Badger record book. She led all NAIA pitchers with her school-record 482 strikeouts. Sagrera won a school-record 39 games with 42 complete games and 18 shutouts in 344.0 innings pitched.
The Badgers open the 2014 season at home versus Huntingdon College in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at noon on Murray Field.