BOSTON – UMBC softball was picked to finish fifth in the annual America East Coaches' Preseason Poll, as announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Binghamton, the winner of last season's America East Championships, was picked to finish first in the league, earning 34 points, including five of the conference's seven first-place votes. The 2015 regular-season champion Stony Brook Seawolves was voted second in the poll with 30 points and one first-place. Albany, last year's second-seed in the America East Championships, came in third with 25 points and the final first-place vote.
Maine rounded out the top-four teams in the league with 21 points, followed by the Retrievers in fifth with 16 points. UMass Lowell (15) and Hartford (six) concluded the poll in sixth and seventh, respectively.
The Retrievers return 16 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's squad that posted a 22-27 overall record and an 8-9 mark in America East action. UMBC welcomes back all three of its America East All-Conference Second Team honorees in sophomore outfielder Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior), junior pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) and junior utility player/pitcher Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central).
UMBC opens the season at the Grand Canyon University Kickoff Tournament on Feb. 12-13. America East play begins for the Retrievers with a three-game series at Binghamton on April 2-3.