Feb. 2, 2005
ATLANTA – The 21st-ranked Georgia Tech softball team finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Poll, announced by the league office on Wednesday afternoon. The poll was determined by a vote of the league’s seven coaches.
Defending ACC champion Florida State received all seven first place votes, while North Carolina was third, Virginia fourth, NC State fifth, Maryland sixth and ACC newcomer Virginia Tech seventh.
“I dont really have feelings one way or another in regards to our preseason ranking in the ACC,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “I’m not surprised that FSU is ranked first, but I am surprised that NC State isn’t ranked higher than they are. I feel like they are really going to have a good season and should be closer to the top of the rankings. Either way, none of it matters or effects us, we only think about winning and what we have to do to achieve it.”
The Yellow Jackets finished runner-up at the 2004 ACC Tournament, falling to the top-seeded Seminoles, 3-1, in the title game. Tech went on to finish third at the NCAA Athens Regional and ended the season with an overall record of 47-19, eclipsing the 40-win plateau for just the second time in school history.
Senior NFCA All-American Jessica Sallinger was selected to the initial 40-player watch list for the 4th Annual USA Softball Player of the Year Award and returns as the top starter for Tech in the circle. The Kennesaw, Ga., native finished last season in the Top 10 in strikeouts (351) and wins (31) and set a new school record with a 0.82 earned run average. Sallinger needs just 13 more strikeouts to become the ACC’s all-time leader, entering ’05 with 1,025.
No. 21 Tech will open up the 2005 season against 2004 SoCon Champion Chattanooga on Saturday, Feb. 5. The doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. at Glenn Field.
2005 ACC Preseason Poll
1. Florida State (7) 49 pts. 62-12 (9-1 ACC)
2. Georgia Tech 40 pts. 47-19 (5-5 ACC)
3. North Carolina 35 pts. 44-22 (6-4 ACC)
4. Virginia 23 pts. 38-26 (6-4 ACC)
5. NC State 18 pts. 32-27 (3-7 ACC)
6. Maryland 16 pts. 33-27 (1-9 ACC)
7. Virginia Tech 15 pts. 36-23 (9-11 Big East)