The Toledo softball team was picked to finish sixth in the West Division of the 2012-13 Mid-American Conference Softball Preseason Poll released on Thursday. The poll was determined by the league's 12 head coaches and announced eight days before the start of UT's 2013 campaign.
Ball State was tabbed as the West Division winner with nine first-place votes, while Bowling Green received seven votes to finish tops in the East. Ball State was also picked to win the 2013 MAC Softball Championship set to take place May 8-11 at Firestone Stadium in Akron, OH .
Head Coach Tarrah Beyster enters her fourth season leading the Rockets after generating a 10-game improvement in the win column last spring. UT won more games in 2012 (18) than the previous three years combined (16), and eight conference wins also led to the program's first conference tournament berth since 1997.
The Midnight Blue & Gold return seven starters, including first-team All-MAC honoree and senior Lindsey Tobias (.344 BA, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 17 SB).
Following Ball State in the West Division was Central Michigan (2), Western Michigan (1), Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois.
Ohio was picked to finished second behind BGSU in the East with three first-place votes, followed by Kent State (1), reigning MAC champion Miami (1), Akron and Buffalo.
Toledo will spend the first month of the season competing in five tournaments. The Rockets will play a doubleheader on Opening Day next Friday, Feb. 15 at the Florida Atlantic "Kick-Off" Classic in Boca Raton, FL. UT is slated to play UMass at 11:00 a.m. and host FAU at 6:00 p.m.
MAC East (First Place Votes)
1. Bowling Green (7)
2. Ohio (3)
3. Kent State (1)
4. Miami (1)
1. Ball State (9)
2. Central Michigan (2)
3. Western Michigan (1)
4. Eastern Michigan
5. Northern Illinois
Predicted MAC Tournament Champion: Ball State (6)
(Also receiving votes: Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Ohio)