The LaGrange softball team was ranked fifth in the USA South West Division preseason coaches poll as released by the conference. The Panthers are beginning their first season under new head coach Melanie Rushing.
Piedmont was ranked first in the West and is the defending regular season division and USA South Tournament champion. Pfeiffer was first in the East Division poll and is seeking its second straight regular season division title.
Each divisional preseason poll only includes votes from coaches within their particular division. Head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting. A new addition to the sport of softball is Southern Virginia, who is in its first year of membership.
Juniors Abbey Gardner and Reagan Gunter headline the returning players for LC. Gardner, a USA South All-Conference West Division second team selection, batted .435 with two home runs and 12 RBIs. On the mound, she was 3-6 with a 4.26 ERA. Gunter was a first team pick on the All-Conference West Division team. She batted .400, had a .400 slugging percentage, and a .455 on-base percentage.
The Panthers play an exhibition doubleheader at Chattahoochee Valley Community College on Feb. 13. The season starts Feb. 13 with a doubleheader against Centre at the LC Softball Complex.
The 2022 USA South Softball Tournament will once again be conducted exclusively on campus sites. The top-five seeded teams from each division will advance to tournament play.