Gators voted preseason SEC softball favorites

[Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Florida, the three-time defending SEC regular-season champion, has been selected as the preseason favorite for 2018 after a vote of the 13 SEC head coaches in the annual preseason poll.

The Gators, who received 11 first-place votes, will be vying for their eighth overall regular season title after posting a 20-3 record in the SEC last season.

Tennessee earned one first-place vote and is projected to finish second in the SEC, while Texas A&M took third place in this year’s poll. LSU was ranked fourth, and Alabama, which earned one first-place vote, rounded out the top 5.

Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 basis. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Florida begins its season at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Tampa against Illinois State (Feb. 9), with the first SEC series slated against Kentucky (March 9-11) at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.