BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After advancing to the the College World Series in 2015, LSU’s softball team was picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference in a vote of the league’s head coaches on Thursday.
LSU earned three first-place votes and 128 overall points.
The Tigers, who made it to the semifinals of the WCWS in 2015, return 16 letterwinners and seven starters from a team that went 52-14 overall, including a 25-0 start.
LSU went 15-9 in the SEC, finishing in a tie for fourth place.
Two-time defending national champion Florida was picked to win the SEC after earning 10 first-place votes. The Gators finished with 142 total points. Auburn follows LSU in third, with Alabama in fourth and Tennessee in fifth.
LSU opens the regular season 5 p.m. Feb. 12 against Ohio State in Tiger Park.
The Tigers travel to Tampa, Florida, for the ITA Kick-Off event hosted by the University of South Florida to begin the dual season on Friday.
“It’s a really strong host site with South Florida, Florida State and Mississippi State,” coach Jeff Brown said. “All teams are ranked in the top 31 and it will be two great matches either way. We are looking forward to it and it’s a very exciting time for everyone.”
With the return of junior Jordan Daigle, No. 29 LSU will face No. 27 Mississippi State at 9 a.m. Saturday at 9 a.m.
“We are all back now with a full team,” senior Boris Arias said. “I think we’ve been practicing really well, especially over the last week. I am really excited about my last ITA Kick-Off.”
LSU is part of a 60 teams in hopes of qualifying for the national indoors event hosted by the University of Virginia Feb. 17-20 at the Boars Head Sports club where 16 teams will compete for the Indoor Championship.