Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville softball team will enter the 2015 season with high expectations, as the Crusaders have been ranked third in this year in the pre-season coaches poll, released this week.
This the fourth time in as many years the Crusaders have found themselves among the league's top teams, inlcuding the 2013 season when NGU was ranked first heading into the season. NGU has only been outside of the top four once since joining Conference Carolinas, which was in 2011, the first season of competition.
The North Greenville softball team is entering its fifth season under head coach Sarah Hall, and the Crusaders are once again poised to make a post season run. The Crusaders will welcome back a solid core of experience heading into their 2015 campaign, as seven starters return from a team that went 29-18.
The experienced returners will be key to NGU's success as the team looks to replace conference Player of the year Rachel Glazebrook, who graduated in May. The returners who will look to fill the void include three seniors, who have more than 292 starts between them.
Sarah Hall will rely heavily on all three, including center fielder Sarah Armstrong, who has started all but one game since arriving on campus in 2012. Last season Armstrong was second on the team with a .323 batting average, scoring 36 of NGU's 207 runs, which ranked second in the league. The Crusaders will open up the 2015 season February 6th against Chowan University.
The Crusaders fall in behind league number one Limestone and perenial power Mount Olive. Erskine, King, and Pfeiffer took spots 4-6 while Barton, Belmont Abbey, and Lees-McRae round out the bottom three.