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Gator Softball is the coaches' preseason favorite to win the 2014 SEC title.

Monday January 27, 2014Gator Softball Picked to Win 2014 SEC Title in Coaches' Preseason Poll

Birmingham, Ala.

Gator Softball is the coaches' preseason favorite to win the 2014 SEC title.

The Florida softball team will open the 2014 season as the favorite to win its second straight Southeastern Conference championship, according to the preseason coaches’ poll released Monday by the league office. Florida received 10 first-place votes from the SEC’s 13 head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team.

 

The Gators won the SEC regular-season and tournament titles last year, advancing to the Women’s College World Series for the fifth time since 2008. Florida owns four regular-season SEC crowns in program history, in addition to three conference tournament championships. The Orange and Blue returns 14 letterwinners from a squad that led the nation with 58 wins during the 2013 season.

 

Head Coach Tim Walton’s ninth UF squad is ranked No. 4 in the country in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 preseason poll, which was unveiled last week. Preseason No. 1 Tennessee received two first-place votes in the SEC poll, while sixth-ranked Alabama earned one first-place vote. The Gators will host the Crimson Tide March 21-23, a week before they face the Lady Vols March 28-30 in Knoxville, Tenn.

 

The SEC previously split its schools into Eastern and Western divisions for softball, but the league eliminated the divisional format following the 2013 campaign.

 

Like the rest of the SEC, Florida begins softball action Feb. 6, and league play opens March 7. South Carolina will host this year’s SEC Tournament, which runs May 7-10. Florida’s full 2014 schedule is available on GatorZone.com.

 

For all the latest on Gator Softball, follow the team on Twitter and visit the Gators on Facebook.

 

Please see below for the full predicted order of finish (first-place votes in parentheses).

 

Rank

Team

2013 Record

SEC Record

2013 Finish

1

FLORIDA (10)

58-9

18-6

1

2

Tennessee (2)

52-12

16-6

2

3

Alabama (1)

45-15

13-11

T7

4

Georgia

40-21

14-9

5

5

Kentucky

41-21

13-11

T7

6

Missouri

38-14

15-8

T3

7

Texas A&M

42-18

10-13

9

8

LSU

42-16

15-8

T3

9

Arkansas

36-20

12-10

6

10

Auburn

30-23

7-17

12

11

South Carolina

34-25

8-16

T10

12

Mississippi State

32-24

8-16

T10

13

Ole Miss

25-31

3-21

13

 

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