For the second time in two years, the Radford University softball team was picked to finish inside the top four in the Big South Preseason Poll announced Wednesday afternoon.
Senior infielder/outfielder Sydney Fisher, a native of Georgia who began her collegiate career at Georgia Southern University and transferred to Radford prior to the 2019 season, was selected as the Co-Preseason Player of the Year.
The Highlanders finished 13-3 a season ago and ended the year on an eight-game win streak. Radford lost only three seniors and two starters and has a strong core group of upperclassmen returning.
Radford tallied 38 points in the polls, tied with Campbell for fourth place. Gardner-Webb was picked to finish first in the poll with 50 points and three first-place votes. USC Upstate finished second in the poll with 47 points; Longwood was picked to finish third with 42 points.
Last season, Fisher had a team-leading seven doubles and 24 hits. She ranked fourth in the Big South with a .421 batting average and struck out only three times during the season. She had a 12-game hit streak and eight multi-hit games. She ranked 24th nationally in doubles per game.
Fisher is the first Highlander to be named Preseason Player of the Year since Nichole Beall in 2012. She is the third player to earn the honor as Kristen Shifflett also won the accolade in 2010 and 2011.
2021 Big South Conference Preseason Softball Poll
Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1 Gardner-Webb (3) 50
2 USC Upstate (1) 47
3 Longwood (3) 42
T4 Radford 38
T4 Campbell 38
6 Presbyterian 33
7 Winthrop 23
8 Charleston Southern (1) 17