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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Crimson Tide have been predicted to win the 2013 Southeastern Conference softball title by the league coaches in the annual SEC preseason poll. The Tide finished 60-8 a year ago and claimed the first national title in league history in 2012. Alabama led the way with eight of out of 13 possible votes followed by the Tennessee Lady Vols with five. The Tide are also ranked No. 1 in the preseason USA Today/NFCA poll.
LSU, coming off the program's third Women's College World Series appearance, was picked second in the Western Division with 28 points. Texas A&M was predicted to finish third with 31 points, followed by Arkansas with 51 points. Mississippi State tallied 56 points for a fifth-place vote in the division while Auburn earned 63 points for sixth-place. The Ole Miss Rebels were tabbed seventh with 74 points.
Tennessee was picked first in the Eastern Division with 12 points. The Lady Vols are the second-highest ranked SEC team in the preseason USA Today/NFCA poll at No. 6. Missouri was predicted to finish second in the East with 30 points while Georgia was tabbed third with 34 points. Rounding out the Eastern Division standings are Florida with 38 points, Kentucky with 58 points and South Carolina with 65 points.
Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the Eastern Division and a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 basis for the Western Division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The league will begin softball action on February 7 while conference play starts March 8. The 2013 SEC Softball Tournament will be held May 8-11 in Lexington, Ky. at the UK Softball Complex.
Conference Champion: Alabama (8), Tennessee (5)
1. Tennessee (12 points)
2. Missouri (30 points)
3. Georgia (34 points)
4. Florida (38 points)
5. Kentucky (58 points)
6. South Carolina (65 points)
1. Alabama (12 points)
2. LSU (28 points)
3. Texas A&M (31 points)
4. Arkansas (51 points)
5. Mississippi State (56 points)
6. Auburn (63 points)
7. Ole Miss (74 points)