Feb. 5, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Georgia Tech softball team has been picked to finish second in the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll released today in voting conducted by the league’s coaches. North Carolina was selected to finish first.
North Carolina received 63 of the possible 64 points in the preseason poll. The Yellow Jackets came in next with 48 points followed by defending league champion Virginia Tech. The Hokies received 41 points, while NC State was picked fourth with 38 points. Rounding out the preseason poll was Florida State (34), Maryland (32), Virginia (17) and Boston College (15). Virginia received the other first place vote.
The Yellow Jackets return 11 letterwinners from last year’s team which went 32-31 overall and advanced to their seventh straight NCAA Tournament. Tech returns seven starters, including 2008 All-ACC member Whitney Haller. Haller, a senior from Marietta, Ga., is Tech’s all-time home run leader and needs just one more for an ACC record. Also returning to the team is redshirt junior Jen Yee. Yee spent last season with the Canadian Olympic team.
In the circle, senior Tiffany Johnson leads a deep pitching staff into 2009. Johnson, an Atlanta native, was limited last year due to injuries but looks to regain her 2007 form when she went 17-6 and averaged over a strikeout an inning. The other senior is Blair Shimandle. A native of LaGrange, Ga., Shimandle has batted over .300 in each of her first three seasons and was the only Tech starter to not make an error in the field last season.
The Jackets are led by head coach Sharon Perkins who enters her third season on The Flats needing just 14 wins to reach 100 in her career.
Tech opens the 2009 season on Saturday, Feb. 7 with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader at Georgia State. Live audio and stats will be available at www.ramblinwreck.comn beginning at 12:50 p.m.