FOREST, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team has been picked to finish seventh in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference regular season, ODAC officials announced Wednesday. The poll was voted on by the league's 11 head coaches.
Emory & Henry, which has qualified for the ODAC Tournament for the past three years, looks to make it four straight trips to the postseason with a strong performance in 2017. Head Coach Tommy Forrester, now in his fourth season, expects that focus and team chemistry will be key this spring.
The Wasps return 15 letterwinners including all-league selections in senior catcher Jordan Chrisley (Pulaski, Va.), senior third baseman Ragan Halsey (Hillsville, Va.), senior utility player Danielle Loving (Elizabethton, Tenn.), junior designated player/infielder Caley Hodge (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and junior outfielder Leah Elswick (Honaker, Va.). The Wasps also welcome six new players to the team this year including junior pitcher Emily Kendrick (Honaker, Va.), who was an All-American at Walters State Community College in 2015.
"We expected to be picked in the middle of the pack, so a seventh-place prediction is no real surprise. However, the bar we have set for ourselves is much higher than seventh. We are focused on one day at a time and are very confident in each other," said Forrester. "The ODAC is tough, but we expect to compete with the other best teams in this league day in and day out. In the end, it all boils down to getting the best seed we can for the ODAC Tournament and then going and out-playing everyone over the course of one weekend."
Virginia Wesleyan College took the top spot in the poll with 99 points, earning nine first-place votes. Randolph-Macon College and Lynchburg College are tied for second (82 pts.) with the Yellow Jackets earning one first-place vote. Eastern Mennonite is fourth with the final top pick.
Emory & Henry is set to open the season on Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19 when it travels to Demorest, Georgia for four games on the campus of Piedmont College. The Wasps will take on the Piedmont Lions and the Majors of Millsaps College once each and will play a pair of games against the Greensboro College Pride.
E&H's first home games will take a similar format on the weekend of Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5 as the Wasps play host to Marietta College and Oberlin College. Emory & Henry's first ODAC game is schedule for Saturday, March 25 at Eastern Mennonite University.
For more information about ODAC Softball and to learn about each of the league's 11 teams, click HERE.
2017 ODAC SOFTBALL
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Virginia Wesleyan (9)||99 pts.|
|2. Randolph-Macon (1)||82 pts.|
|4. Eastern Mennonite (1)||81 pts.|
|7. Emory & Henry
|11. Sweet Briar