Cambridge, Mass. - The University at Albany has been chosen to finish first in the America East Conference softball preseason poll, as announced by the league office on Thursday, Feb. 11. The Great Danes, who won a school-record 38 games and made their fifth straight appearance in the conference tournament championship game last spring, received three of a possible six first-place votes for 32 total points.
Boston University won last year's conference tournament and advanced to the NCAAs. The Terriers finished second in the poll with three first-place votes and 31 points. Stony Brook, last year's regular-season winner, followed in third with one first-place vote and 30 points. UMBC, Maine, Hartford and Binghamton rounded out the seven-team poll.
Chris Cannata, a four-time America East coach of the year who enters her 16th season at the helm, has 17 letterwinners and eight players who have earned all-conference or all-rookie team honors in their respective careers returning. Senior hurler Leah McIntosh, one of six seniors on the veteran squad, threw a national-best four perfect games in 2009 and was named the program's fourth America East pitcher of the year in the past seven seasons. A member of the Canadian National Team last summer, McIntosh also landed on the NFCA All-Northeast Region First Team and was an ECAC All-Star selection. Senior catcher Kat Smith, who has caught seven no-hitters, junior first baseman Gina Mason and junior utility player Kristine Bill are returning All-America East second-team selections.
The top four teams in the conference's regular-season standings will advance to the America East Championship with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The league's postseason tournament will be played from May 13-15 at the facility of the highest seed able to host. The America East champion has advanced to the regional final of the NCAAs twice in the past three seasons.
2010 America East Conference Softball Preseason Poll
1. Albany (3) 32; 2. Boston U. (3) 31; 3. Stony Brook (1) 30; 4. UMBC 19; 5. Maine 15; 6. Hartford 14; 7. Binghamton 6.
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information
Thursday, February 11, 2010
University of Albany Softball Chosen First in America East Conference Preseason Poll - UAlbany Sports 2010
Posted by BRE at 11:13 PM