Kendyl Lindaman

Kendyl Lindaman

The Southeastern Conference announced the 2020 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which surveys all 13 head coaches in the league, on Wednesday. Of those 13 teams, the defending SEC Tournament-champion Gators were ranked fifth.

The Crimson Tide tallied 11 of the available 13 first-place votes, securing the first-place slot in the poll. The Tide and the Gators are the only two SEC teams to win the Women’s College World Series.

Tennessee was behind Alabama with the remaining two first-place votes. Florida also trailed LSU (third) and Kentucky (fourth).

Last year, the Gators finished 12-12 in conference play but went on to best the Crimson Tide in the SEC tournament championship, securing the program’s fifth title.

The Gators will open the season in Tampa at the USF-Rawlings Invitational on Feb. 7.

On Feb. 11, Florida will play an exhibition game against Team USA Softball at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Former Gators Michelle Moultrie, Kelsey Stewart and Aubree Munro will take the field in red, white and blue instead of orange and blue.

The Gators will face their first SEC opponent in Auburn on March 6, and the SEC tournament is set for May 6-9 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Follow Payton on Twitter @petitus25 and contact her at [email protected].

Payton Titus is a sports writer covering softball this season. She has also written for Swimming World Magazine, Inside the Gators and Chomp Talk.