ROCHESTER, N.Y. (February 27, 2013) – The Empire 8 Conference released its Preseason Coaches’ Poll earlier this month and the Stevens Institute Technology softball team was voted to finish the season fourth out of the eight-team conference. In 2012, Stevens wrapped up the season with a 17-24 overall record and a 7-5 mark within the Empire 8.
Ithaca College was chosen to claim its ninth conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 26th time. Ithaca received sixth of eight first place votes and 48 points overall in the poll. St. John Fisher College received two first place votes (43 points) and was selected to finish as the runner-up after a 34-14 campaign in 2012.
Alfred University slides in ahead of the Ducks in third with 35 points, compared to 29 for Stevens. Alfred posted a 27-14 ledger last season, which is second-most in school history.
The Ducks return first-team all-conference member, junior infielder Danielle DeFeo (Andover, N.J.) to the lineup after a superb 2012 season. DeFeo batted .458 as a sophomore to rank amongst the top 50 in the nation. She also led Stevens in on-base percentage (.481), run scored (31) and stolen bases with eight in 41 starts.
Utica College has been slated to finish fifth with 28 points, while Elmira College comes in sixth with 19. Nazareth College (15 points) and newcomer Houghton College (seven) round out the preseason conference selections in seventh and eighth, respectively, for 2013.
Stevens opens up its season on March 10 at the University of La Verne in California as part of the team’s spring trip. The Ducks will play 10 games over a five-day span against Division III California teams.
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