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GSW Softball picked to finish seventh in the Peach Belt Conference

From Staff Reports

 

AMERICUS – The 2019 Georgia Southwestern State University softball team was picked to finish seventh in the Peach Belt Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The poll was released Thursday morning, January 24.

The Lady Hurricanes picked up 34 points and finished ahead of Francis Marion (32), Augusta University (31), UNC Pembroke (27) and USC Aiken (17).

The University of North Georgia, the reigning PBC champions, received all 10 first-place votes to finish atop the poll with 100 points. Young Harris College was second with 85 points, followed by Georgia College (84) and Columbus State with 73 points. Lander University and Flagler College rounded out the top six, finishing with 62 and 60 points respectively.

The Lady Hurricanes return all-time leading home run hitter and Preseason All-Conference utility player Hayley Tierce. GSW returns their top pitcher in 2018, Madason Messer, as well as first baseman Lauren Kuerzi. Elizabeth Wills, an outfielder, also returns to the GSW lineup.

Messer, a senior, made 29 appearances at the plate. She started 18 games for the Lady Hurricanes and posted an 8-10 record with a 5.66 ERA. Kuerzi, a sophomore, led the team with 272 put-outs for a .993 fielding percentage and drove in 32 RBIs. Kuerzi also belted four home runs for GSW. Wills returns for her sophomore season. She is currently ranked fourth in the PBC in home runs. The Orlando, FL native finished with 30 RBIs and 11 home runs in her freshman season.

GSW head coach Nicki Levering enters her second year as skipper of the Lady Hurricanes. She is looking forward to returning back to the PBC Tournament. In 2018, the Lady Hurricanes finished with an overall record of 18-34 and went 7-13 in PBC play. They lost to North Georgia in the quarterfinals of the 2018 PBC Tournament.

The Lady Hurricanes were ranked 10th in last year’s preseason poll. They will open the season in the Flagler Invitational on Saturday, February 2, against Anderson University (SC). First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. Following that game, the Lady Hurricanes will take on Lynn University (FL) at 1:30 p.m.