The Stetson University softball team has been picked to finish sixth in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches poll, while senior Meredith Owen was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Conference Team.
The Hatters, who were 31-22 overall in 2013 and 13-13 in the A-Sun, received 51 points in the poll, seven points behind fifth-ranked Kennesaw State.
Defending tournament champion USC Upstate received seven first place votes (97 points), while Florida Gulf Coast (85) was second and Lipscomb (78) was third. Last year’s regular season champion North Florida (77) was awarded a fourth place ranking, while Kennesaw State (58) was slotted for fifth, one spot ahead of Stetson. Jacksonville (43), Mercer (31), Northern Kentucky (18) and ETSU (12) round out the preseason poll.
Owen made the A-Sun’s Pre-Season All-Conference Team as a designated player/utility and was one of two unanimous selections. She also won the fan vote for Preseason Player of the Year, which was voted upon through the Atlantic Sun Facebook page. Owen led the Hatters with 11 home runs in 2013, a season in which Stetson set a new program record for long balls with 45. The Jackson, Miss., native also led the Hatters in average (.318) and RBI (37). She had an equally successful season in the circle, going 22-10, with a 1.96 ERA and 27 complete games.
The Hatters open the 2014 season on Friday, Feb. 7 against Michigan State and Rhode Island in the Stetson Lead-Off Classic at Patricia Wilson Field. For season ticket information, call the Stetson Athletics ticket office at (386) 738-HATS or go online to gohatters.com/tix.