Feb. 3, 2014
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech softball team has been picked by the league’s head coaches to finish eighth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. The Jackets received 40 points, after finishing fifth in the ACC last season (25-30, 10-10 ACC).
Head coach Shelly Hoerner enters her first season at the helm of the Georgia Tech program, which returns eight starters, including 2013 ACC Player of the Year Ashley Thomas and first-team All-ACC selection Alysha Rudnik. Tech lost All-American pitcher Hope Rush, but returns three pitchers to the circle and adds freshman Kanani Cabrales to the rotation.
Florida State, which is ranked No. 15 entering the season, was chosen as the favorite to win the 2014 regular season title. The Seminoles won the regular season crown last year and received 98 points and eight first-place votes in the preseason poll.
NC State, which finished the regular season in second place and won the conference tournament last year, was second in the voting with 87 points, including the remaining three first-place votes. Notre Dame, beginning its first year in ACC play, came in third with 80 points.
The Jackets open the season Saturday and Sunday at home with a three-game series against Missouri State. Action begins Saturday with a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and Sunday’s single game starts at 11 a.m.
Tech’s 2014 schedule features 47 games, including contests against 10 NCAA Tournament participants from last season. The 10 teams Tech plays this season that advanced to a 2013 NCAA Regional are Arizona, Stony Brook, Tulsa, Notre Dame, NC State, Georgia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Florida State, with Alabama advancing to the Super Regionals.
|Rank||Team||Points (1st-place votes)||2013 Record (ACC)|
|1||Florida State||98 (8)||44-19 (18-2)|
|2||NC State||87 (3)||35-20 (13-7)|
|4||North Carolina||74||40-21 (13-8)|
|5||Virginia Tech||70||38-21 (9-11)|
|8||Georgia Tech||40||25-30 (10-10)|
|11||Boston College||14||14-38 (2-19)|