RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Meredith College softball Angels received one first place vote and 42 points to fall fourth in the USA South East Division Preseason Coaches Poll as released Wednesday from the conference office. Pfeiffer University was tabbed as the East's favorite with Salem in second and N.C. Wesleyan third. Last year's tournament champion Maryville College was selected as the top program in the West.
With ninth-year Head Coach Kim Scavone at the helm, the Avenging Angels will play hard to fill the gaps left by last year's departure of nine senior players. And the team opens with two-time defending national champion and top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan at home February 16. Meredith will face off twice this season with nationally ranked Christopher Newport, beginning with a home doubleheader in early March.
The 2019 USA South Softball Tournament will feature the top-six teams from each division and begin April 19-20. The top-three seeds from each division will host best-of-three series opening weekend. The winners will advance to a six-team, double-elimination tournament, which will be played April 26-28 at the Shuford Softball Complex in LaGrange, Georgia, as a part of the USA South Spring Sports Festival hosted by the City of LaGrange and Troup County.
After defeating Ferrum in last year's divisional playoff to advance to the Spring Festival, Meredith made a surprise run in the double-elimination tournament. The Angels lost to Covenant early but went on to defeat Piedmont and Averett to stay alive. Salem defended against a four-run seventh inning to take down Meredith and advance to the finals.