NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State softball was selected to finish sixth in the East of the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Poll. The predicted order of finish was voted on by the coaches and sports information directors and released by the conference office on Wednesday. The institutions representatives were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky each received 12 first-place votes, but it was the Gamecocks who edged out EKU, 120-118, to claim the top spot in the East. Tennessee Tech, Morehead State and Belmont followed. SIU Edwardsville garnered 19 first-place votes and sits atop the West. The Cougars are followed by Eastern Illinois, UT Martin, Murray State, Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri State.
The Tigers finished OVC play at 5-18 last season and was 14-35 overall. TSU returns eight members from last season’s squad, including pitchers Shea Morris and Olivia Gamache. The duo accounted for every inning pitched in 2013.
Kiarra Freeman and Ashley Haynes are coming back to improve on last season. Freeman was named to the OVC All-Newcomer team after posting a .361 average, the seventh highest for a single season at TSU. Haynes looks to better her .303 average in what will be her final season as a Tiger.
The Tigers open play with four games at the Music City Classic Feb. 8-9. Saturday’s games will be played at Lipscomb, while Sunday’s action will take place at Rose Park.