MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University softball team ranked No. 3 in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Preseason Coaches Poll released Jan. 21.
North Georgia was selected as the preseason favorite, while Francis Marion snagged second. The Bobcats claimed third and Armstrong Atlantic State University slid into the No. 4 slot. UNC Pembroke, Columbus State University, Augusta State University, USC Aiken, Lander University and Georgia Southwestern State University rounded out the voting.
The 2008 Bobcat softball team won the program's first PBC Tournament title, taking a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight season, all under fifth-year head coach Ginger Chaffinch. The Bobcats tallied the third-most wins in school history at 40-14 and reached as high as No. 2 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Rankings.
Georgia College returns a pair of All-Americans in pitcher Mandy Chandler (Covington, Ga.) and centerfielder Sherquita Bostick (Florence, S.C.). Chandler was 25-9 with a 0.98 ERA and 311 strikeouts over 236.2 innings in 2008 and remains one of the most dominant pitchers in all of Division II. The reigning PBC Player of the Year, Bostick had a .379 batting average, 44 runs and 27 RBI a year ago, adding seven home runs, four triples, and 20 stolen bases. Georgia College regains the services of all but two starters in the field, including senior third baseman/pitcher Tonya Medders (Bascom, Fla.) as well as senior second baseman Lindsey Swanson (Kennesaw, Ga.). The Bobcats have eight seniors on the roster, and will look to take advantage of that leadership and big-game experience.
The Bobcats open their season in Aiken, S.C. at the Early Bird Tournament, Saturday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. against Charleston University (W.Va.). The GCSU home opener is Saturday, Feb. 14 with a doubleheader against Wingate University beginning at noon.
Visit www.GCSU.edu/Bobcats to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.