Lady Vols picked fourth in SEC preseason poll

Published 11:53 pm Monday, January 31, 2022

CONTRIBUTED BY UT ATHLETICS
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference released the 2022 SEC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll Monday afternoon, and Tennessee was chosen fourth in a vote of the league’s head coaches.
The Lady Vols received 103 points in the poll, including one first-place vote, and have been predicted to finish top-four in the conference in each of the last five seasons.
Alabama was projected as the preseason favorite with 138 points, followed by Florida (131) and Arkansas (128). UT was slotted fourth in the league at 103, while Missouri garnered 97 points to round out the top five.
The Lady Vols posted their 18th consecutive full season with 40-plus wins last spring, coming off a 42-15 campaign in 2021 that included series wins over No. 8 Kentucky, No. 21 Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn.
Tennessee reached the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history, featuring an extra-inning walk-off win over Texas A&M and a shutout effort against regular season champion Arkansas in the quarterfinals.
The Lady Vols return 13 players from the 2021 squad, highlighted by NFCA All-Americans Kiki Milloy and Ashley Rogers who have both garnered plenty of preseason recognition from numerous softball outlets.
The duo was recently named to USA Softball’s Top 50 Watch List for Collegiate National Player of the Year following their successful 2021 campaigns.
Tennessee will also be guided by an experienced trio of super seniors who elected to return for their COVID-19 exempt fifth season of eligibility.
Amanda AyalaAshley Morgan and Ivy Davis each enjoyed the best individual seasons of their careers last spring and look to build upon that success in 2022. The 2022 roster features 10 newcomers, including four transfers out of the Big 12 Conference and six true freshmen that were ranked as the No. 12 signing class in the nation in the fall of 2020.
Graduate transfer pitcher Erin Edmoundson was rated the No. 68 player in the country by Softball America in the publication’s preseason college Top 100.
UT will open the 2022 season next week in Miami at the Felsberg Invitational, hosted by Florida International University. The Lady Vols begin the tournament with a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 11, facing UNC Greensboro at 10 a.m. ET before taking on Maryland at 12:30 p.m.
Tennessee’s 2022 home opener is set for Wednesday, March 2, when the Lady Vols play host to Tennessee Tech in an in-state midweek matchup. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on AllVols.com.
2022 SEC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Alabama (7) – 138 points
2. Florida (3) – 131 points
3. Arkansas (2) – 124 points
4. Tennessee (1) – 103 points
5. Missouri – 97 points
6. LSU – 93 pointst
7. Georgia – 78 pointst
7. Kentucky – 78 points
9. Ole Miss – 47 points
10. Texas A&M – 41 points
11. Auburn – 36 points
12. Mississippi State – 35 points
13. South Carolina – 13 points

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