By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, WIS. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay women's softball team, which opens the 2013 season today at the UNI Dome Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa, was tabbed to finish fifth in the 2013 Horizon League Preseason poll, the league office announced this week.
The Phoenix finished 23-28 overall and 11-12 in the Horizon League last season, defeating third-seeded UIC in the opening round of the 2012 Horizon League Softball Championship. Green Bay was then dealt losses by eventual runner-up Loyola and Youngstown State.
Loyola was selected to finish first overall with 48 points and six first-place votes, while last year's champions Valparaiso came in at third with one first-place vote.
"Our coaching staff has been doing a wonderful job of preparing this team to compete every minute and never give up," head coach Jean Rivett said. "We have been instilling a sense of confidence each and every day in the minds of our players so they can always have a desire to succeed."
Green Bay will be led by second-team All-League pitcher Alli Goecks (Beloit, Wis.), All-Newcomer selection Hailey Mohrfeld (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) and slugger Danielle Peerenboom (Appleton, Wis.). The Phoenix also boasts eight freshmen on its roster, including three pitchers.
The 2013 campaign opens this weekend for the Phoenix as the team competes in the UNI Dome Tournament again this season. Green Bay's first game of the year will be this afternoon with a 1 p.m. matchup against North Dakota State, and the team will face its toughest battle of the 2013 season in just its second game as Green Bay Battles No. 1 Alabama tomorrow afternoon. The Crimson Tide won its first-ever National Championship last season, finishing with an astounding 60-8 record with a 23-5 mark in SEC play.
"We are truly looking forward to the challenges another season brings upon us, especially having the wonderful opportunity to take on the No. 1 team in the nation this weekend," Rivett said.
The Phoenix will round out the weekend tournament with a second game on Saturday against host UNI, and finish the tournament with matchups against Illinois and Drake on Sunday.
2013 Horizon League Softball Preseason Poll
1. Loyola (6), 48 points
2. UIC (1), 39 points
3. Valparaiso (1), 37 points
4. Youngstown State, 30 points
5. Green Bay, 22 points
6. Cleveland State, 20 points
7. Wright State, 19 points
8. Detroit, 9 points
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