OXFORD, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference announced the results of its preseason softball coaches' poll Thursday afternoon. The Miami RedHawks were picked to finish third in the East Division this season, receiving two first place votes. Kent State was picked to win the East, while Central Michigan was picked to win the West and the MAC Tournament.
The Golden Flashes received seven first-place votes to top the East Division poll. Ohio was picked second and received two first-place votes. Miami followed in third with its two first place votes. Bowling Green, Akron and Buffalo rounded out the poll, with the Bulls receiving the final first place vote.
In the West Division, the defending MAC Tournament champion Chippewas were picked by six coaches to win. Defending regular season champion Ball State finished second and received the other six first place votes. Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Toledo rounded out the poll.
The MAC coaches were not in agreement as to who will win the 2014 MAC Tournament, which takes place May 7-10 at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. Six different schools were picked to win it, with Central Michigan receiving the most votes with four. Ball State, Kent State and Ohio each were the choice of two coaches, while Buffalo and Northern Illinois were picked by one coach apiece.
Miami is coming off a 20-34 season and a second place finish in the MAC East Division at 12-10. A young and inexperienced team in 2013, all 14 letterwinners return in 2014, joined by five talented newcomers.
The 2014 season begins this weekend in Nashville at the Music City Classic. Due to the potential for bad weather, the previously released schedule has been changed. Miami will now play all its games at Lipscomb’s Draper Diamond. On Friday, the RedHawks will take on Detroit at noon (EST). On Saturday, Miami faces Virginia Tech at 10 a.m. (EST) and host Lipscomb at 3 p.m. (EST). The RedHawks conclude the tournament on Sunday against Tennessee State at noon (EST).