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FOREST -- The Shenandoah University softball team is the pre-season No. 5 pick in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference race according to coaches poll results released Thursday afternoon by the league office.
Shenandoah, which reached the ODAC Tournament championship game last season, returns seven field position starters and one pitcher from last year's 28-18 team.
Included in this group is sophomore outfielder Kimberly Brady, who earned ODAC Rookie of the Year honors last spring.
SU has 65 points in the poll to come in just behind Lynchburg, Randolph-Macon and Roanoke, which all tied for second with 79 points.
Defending champion Virginia Wesleyan is the pre-season favorite with 10 first place votes and 100 points.
Lynchburg, who was eliminated by Shenandoah in the conference tourney, received the remaining first place vote.
Voting was done on a 10-1 basis with coaches unable to vote for their own teams in the poll.
SU is eight points clear of No. 6 Bridgewater.
The Hornets open the 2014 season on February 22 versus Messiah.