CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte softball team was predicted to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 Conference, announced Tuesday evening, according to the preseason poll conducted by the league's 12 head coaches.
Charlotte finished the 2012 season with an overall record of 29-26 and a 10-10 record in conference play. Charlotte returns 13 players from last season, which includes eight starters.The 49ers also welcomed two freshmen to the program for the 2013 campaign.
Highlighting the returners is senior outfielder Briana Gwaltney, who was a 2012 All-Atlantic 10 first team selection. Last season, Gwaltney broke the Charlotte single-season (14) and career records (28) for home runs. She also led the Atlantic 10 in home runs. She led the Niners in runs scored (39), hits (52), and RBIs (40). She produced a.348 batting average in conference play.
Last season, the 49ers swept La Salle, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, and Saint Louis in A-10 play. Charlotte split league games with Dayton and Rhode Island, while dropping doubleheaders to UMASS, Temple, Fordham, and Saint Joseph's.
Reining Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Champion Massachusetts has been predicted to win the 2013 A-10 Championship. The Minutewomen finished the 2012 season with a perfect conference record of 19-0. UMass has won the league title 17 out of the last 20 years.
Fordham placed second in the preseason poll, followed by George Washington (third) Saint Joseph's (fourth), Temple (fifth), Charlotte (sixth), Butler (seventh), Saint Louis (eighth), Dayton (ninth), St. Bonaventure (10th), Rhode Island (11th), and La Salle (12th).
Hosted by the Minutewomen of Massachusetts, the 2013 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship will be held on May 8-11 at the UMass softball complex in Amherst, Mass.
2013 Softball Predicted Order of Finish
(2012 Overall Finish; A-10 Record in parentheses)
1. Massachusetts (38-13; 19-0)
2. Fordham (32-26; 14-6)
3. George Washington (25-30; 11-9)
4. Saint Joseph's (22-29-1; 9-10-1)
5. Temple (27-22; 12-6)
6. Charlotte (29-26; 10-10)
7. Butler (25-32; 13-11 Horizon League)
8. Saint Louis (23-33; 9-11)
9. Dayton (22-29; 9-10)
10. St. Bonaventure (17-27; 6-14)
11. Rhode Island (21-32-1; 5-14)
12. La Salle (9-40; 3-17)