Forest, Va. -- Lynchburg College's softball team was picked fourth in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's annual preseason coaches poll, the conference announced Thursday.
Defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan took the top spot in the poll, receiving nine of the 10 first-place votes, followed by second-place Randolph-Macon and third-place Emory & Henry, both of whom also qualified for the national tournament a season ago.
Lynchburg is coming off its 17th-straight winning season in 2017, a 29-15 campaign that saw the Hornets grow tremendously throughout.
The Hornets bring back four All-ODAC honorees, highlighted by strength up the middle; sophomore shortstop Kayla Hugate (Chesterfield, Va.) and senior center fielder Skylar Dickens (Virginia Beach, Va.) were both second-team all-league selections, while sophomore second baseman Sarah Commons (Glen Allen, Va.) and junior pitcher/utility player Taylor Mabry (Bassett, Va.) earned third-team picks.
Lynchburg will open the season this Sunday, Feb. 11 with a home doubleheader against Methodist. The season starts at 12:30 p.m.
2018 ODAC SOFTBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Virginia Wesleyan College (9) 81 pts.
2. Randolph-Macon College (1) 66 pts.
3. Emory & Henry College 63 pts.
4. Lynchburg College 59 pts.
5. Guilford College 54 pts.
6. Roanoke College 43 pts.
7. Eastern Mennonite University 31 pts.
8. Randolph College 22 pts.
9. Shenandoah University 18 pts.
10. Bridgewater College 13 pts.