Valdosta, GA - Valdosta State softball completed the most successful season ever at Valdosta State in 2010, and the teams starts 2011 already breaking records.
Last year, the Blazers climbed as high as second in the national poll, the highest VSU softball has ever been…until today.
The National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association released preseason rankings and Valdosta State tops the list in front of North Georgia (2), Hawaii Pacific (3), Bloomsburg (4) and Wayne State (5). All five teams were at the NCAA National Tournament last season where Valdosta State beat Bloomsburg and a previously unbeaten North Georgia before falling to Hawaii Pacific in the championship game.
Other teams from the Gulf South Conference listed in the preseason rankings are rival Alabama-Huntsville at No. 10 overall and Arkansas-Monticello at 17th.
South Region teams that made the list in addition to the GSC are Rollins at 18th while Nova Southeastern is receiving votes.
Valdosta State only lost five players, three starters, from last season’s squad but looks to have restocked strong for 2011. Both starting pitchers Holly Satterfield (GSC East Pitcher of the Year) and Margaret Carter return with additions Krystle Robinson and Brianna Hancock.
Most of the big bats return for Valdosta State, including Marti Littlefield, Morgan Johnson and Colette Rollins.
The Blazers will look to start the season Saturday at 2 p.m. against Georgia College at the Georgia Southwestern Tournament.