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Troy State softball picked to finish 2nd

The Troy State softball was picked second in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason poll as voted by the coaches.

Five-time defending champ Florida Atlantic was picked to finish atop the standings again. The Owls were also picked to win the A-Sun Tournament, which will be hosted by Troy State this year at the new Lady Trojan Softball Complex.

Last season the Lady Trojans finished with a 38-23 record before falling to Florida Atlantic in the A-Sun Championship game. Troy State returns five starters from last year’s team and 11 letter winners.

"Florida Atlantic is the team to beat until someone knocks them off," said Troy State head coach Melanie Davis. "This is going to be one of the most competitive years in this conference’s history. Last year we had three teams tie for the regular-season title and this year it should be even more competitive."

Seniors Kim Unkenholz and Mindy Porep were picked to the A-Sun preseason all-conference team. Unkenholz, who holds the all-time strikeout record at Troy State, finished last season with a 20-10 record and three saves. She also had a 0.98 earned run average.

Third baseman Porep, who is the lone returning starter to the infield, led the Lady Trojans in hitting last year, batting .320 while driving in 14 runs. She was ranked 17th by the NCAA as the hardest strike out, striking out just one every 28.2 at bats.

"This is great honor for Kim and Mindy," Davis said. "Kim has won a lot of games for us during her career and I look forward to her having a successful senior year. Mindy had a great junior year and has worked really hard in the offseason."

Troy State opens its season on Feb. 9 at home with a doubleheader against UAB.