|PLACE (Ranking from ESPN.com/USA Poll)||SCHOOL||POINTS|
|1. # 1||Florida (10)||142|
|2. #3||LSU (3)||128|
|9. #24||Texas A&M||58|
The SEC has tons of talent returning as shown below with the conference announcing the pre-season All-SEC team. Among them is the Gators Kelsey Stewart who was the SEC player of the Year in 2015.
2016 Preseason All-SEC Softball Team
NAME SCHOOL POSITION CLASS HEIGHT HOMETOWN
Emily Carosone Auburn IF Sr. 5-4 Orlando, Fla.
Kasey Cooper Auburn IF Jr. 5-4 Dothan, Ala.
Kelsey Stewart Florida IF Sr. 5-6 Wichita, Kan.
Alex Hugo Georgia IF Sr. 5-8 Olathe, Kan.
Bianka Bell LSU IF Sr. 5-5 Tampa, Fla.
Haylie McCleney Alabama OF Sr. 5-4 Morris, Ala.
Tiffany Howard Auburn OF Sr. 5-5 Pembroke, Ga.
Kirsti Merritt Florida OF Sr. 5-4 Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.
Alaynie Page South Carolina OF Sr. 5-6 Boiling Springs, S.C.
Alexis Osorio Alabama P So. 5-8 Riverside, Calif.
Kelsey Nunley Kentucky P Sr. 5-10 Soddy Daisy, Tenn.
Carley Hoover LSU P So. 6-2 Clemson, S.C.
Aubree Munro Florida C Sr. 5-10 Brea, Calif.
Rainey Gaffin Tennessee DP/UT Sr. 5-10 Thornton, Colo.
On In the Circle Podcast, I along with Victor Anderson spoke to Justin McLeod of Justin’s World about the SEC. Among topics we addressed with Justin about the SEC was the following:
- How will the Florida Gators replace National Player of the Year & WCWS MVP Lauren Haeger?
- Between Auburn & Alabama who has better chance of getting back to WCWS and possibly knocking off the Gators?
- Is LSU the team to beat this year with possibly deepest pitching staff in SEC?
- How will the Lady Vols replace Annie Aldrete and Taylor Koenig who transfered to California.
- What impact will new Georgia Asst Coach and former LSU All-American pitcher Rachele Fico have on Chelsea Wilkerson and Bulldogs program?
- Who is the sleeper team out of he SEC ?
You can also listen to the entire In the Circle D1 College Softball season preview podcast
Some key Players to watch in the SEC this season according to Justin McLeod :
Kasey Cooper, Auburn – There is no better evidence of the impact Clint Myers has had on Auburn than Cooper. In two seasons under his tutelage at AU, Cooper has been twice an all-American and owns a career .404 batting average to this point. She’s clubbed thirty-six home runs and driven in 141 runs during that time. Effective at the hot corner, and despite playing in a loaded conference, it’s a surprise to me that she hasn’t added SEC Player of the Year to her laundry list of honors. This could be the year that changes.
Sami Fagan, Missouri – After finding her new home in Columbia, Fagan has thrived. She was selected an all-conference second-teamer a year ago, a season that also included a .368/13/66 slash line. She led the Tigers in nine statistical categories, including runs scored  and total bases . Now a redshirt senior, she could play herself into consideration for a conference Player of the Year nod.
Alaynie Page, South Carolina – Almost overnight, Page went from a sub-.230 career hitter to an all-American. In her junior campaign, she more than doubled her career hits total from the previous two seasons. She went from a mediocre outfielder to an ace in the hole for the Gamecocks. Page’s .436/15/45 slash line earned her first-team all-american honors, as well as a first-team all-conference nod. If she can retain her form from a year ago, she could be a catalyst to SC winning some ballgame.
Sandra Simmons, LSU – Simmons’ trophy case may be light, comparatively, to others in the SEC, but she is one of the most consistent performers and is assuredly a game-changer for Beth Torina’s Tigers. I expect an all-SEC honor for her in her final season and I also classify her as the #2 first baseman in the senior class. Another year of improving offensive statistics could set her up for a selection in the professional draft.
Eric Lopez’s projections for SEC teams in NCAA Tournament – 11 Teams