Conference USA coaches expect Kylee Hanson to lead FAU to its second consecutive softball title, the league announced on Wednesday.
The league named Hanson, it’s reigning Pitcher of the Year, its Preseason Pitcher of the Year for 2017.
Hanson led the nation last season with a 0.76 ERA while posting a 28-5 record en route to being named the C-USA Female Athlete of the Year.
The senior is one of five Owls chosen as Preseason All-C-USA performers. Joining Hanson is fellow pitcher Amanda Wilson, shortstop Emily Lochten, catcher Alex Miller and outfielder Madisyn Palmer.
In 2016 FAU softball became the first Owls program to win a Conference USA regular season title. The Owls followed that by becoming the the first FAU team to win a C-USA Tournament title.
The Owls advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where their season ended in the Gainesville Regional.
FAU’s season begins at home on Feb. 9 against North Florida in the FAU Kick-Off Classic. Why, being a softball tournament, it’s not named the FAU First Pitch Classic is unclear to OwlAccess.com.
Here’s the predicted softball order of finish in Conference USA:
1. Florida Atlantic
4. Louisiana Tech
5. Southern Miss
11. Middle Tennessee
12. North Texas