Jan. 30, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University softball team was picked to finish seventh in Conference USA in a preseason poll of the league's head coaches.
The Owls finished the 2013 season with a 28-29 overall record and a 10-12 conference mark as members of the Sun Belt. FAU will have to overcome the loss of their top two pitchers from last season, All-Sun Belt selection Stephanie Call and Taylor Fawbush, who led the staff in wins, ERA and innings pitched. Junior outfielder Lindsey Shell, who led the team with a .316 batting average and was also a member of the All-Sun Belt team last season, will help fill the gap at the plate. Fellow juniors Samantha Messer and Paige Pender are expected to help pick up the slack in the circle.
UAB was picked to repeat as C-USA champions. The No. 21-ranked Blazers received seven first-place votes. Tulsa finished second in the preseason poll, earned five first-place votes and swept the Preseason Player and Pitcher of the Year Awards. Marshall was selected to finish third. East Carolina, who received the final first-place vote, was picked to finish fourth, followed by North Texas and FIU. Louisiana Tech was the designated eighth-place finisher, followed by UTSA, Charlotte, Southern Miss, UTEP and Middle Tennessee.
C-USA also announced that the first game of FAU's doubleheader against rival FIU on Saturday, April 5 will air on Fox Sports Network (FSN). Game time has been moved to 4 p.m. to accommodate the broadcast. The second game of the doubleheader also has been changed to 6 p.m.
The Owls open the 2014 season on Friday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. when they play Northern Illinois and Louisville as part of the FAU Kick-Off Classic. Season, tournament, single game and group tickets can be purchased by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS or logging on to FAUTix.com.