ATLANTA – Georgia State’s softball team begins its 2018 season Friday at the Wilson DeMarini Tournament in Tampa, Fla. The Panthers are picked to finish third in the Sun Belt in the preseason coaches’ poll.

2018 Preview

Georgia State returns 16 letterwinners from last season and adds four newcomers for 2018. The Panthers went 36-25 last season and went 18-9 in conference play. Ivie Drake and Megan Litumbe were each picked to the preseason All-Sun Belt team. The duo has 100 career home runs, most of any two active teammates in NCAA Division I.

Returnees

Outfield: Cassidy Faulk, Remington Hasty, Megan Litumbe, Reagan Morgan and Brenna Skalski

Juniors Reagan Morgan and Remington Hasty each started more than 52 games last season for GSU. Add seniors Cassidy Faulk, Megan Litumbe and Brenna Skalski and you have a very experienced GSU outfield. Litumbe played primarily DP last season and was named All-Sun Belt after tying a GSU record with 22 home runs. She can still flash the leather in the grass, however, so head coach Roger Kincaid has a plethora of reliable options for defense.

Infield: Taylor Bradley, Taylor Chadwick, Kristin Hawkins, Kirsten McMonigle, Caitlin Ray, Baylee Sexton

After losing starters Kensey Caldwell and Mandy Blackwell to graduation last spring, Kincaid will have some new faces in the infield. Sophomore Kirsten McMonigle returns after starting 52 games at shortstop in 2017. Baylee Sexton and Kirstin Hawkins started a combined 53 games at third base and Taylor Bradley played 19 games last year at second base. Caitlin Ray redshirted last season but is ready to contribute in 2018.

Catchers: Ivie Drake, Arden Jobe

Ivie Drake was named preseason All-Sun Belt as she heads into her final year with the Panthers. Drake ranks second in career home runs, fourth in RBI, second in runs scored, third in walks and sixth in hits in the GSU record book. Arden Jobe made 22 appearances for GSU in 2017.

Pitchers: Mandy Chance, Kinsley Jennings, Emily Soles

Kinsley Jennings was the 2017 Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year after leading GSU with an 18-11 record and a 3.34 ERA. Mandy Chance went 10-7 with a 3.72 ERA and Emily Soles held a 3.87 ERA as a freshman last year.

Newcomers

Freshmen: Alyssa Brumelow, Skylar Mosel and Alyssa Ward

Transfers: Mallory Parson

Mallory Parson is a transfer from Georgia Military and could make an immediate impact in the circle for GSU in 2018. Alyssa Brumelow is a catcher who hit .433 as a senior last year at North Paulding HS. Skylar Mosel can play both infield and outfield. She played shortstop at Union Grove HS and hit .456 last season. Alyssa Ward is an outfielder from Rocky Face, Ga. She was named all-region and all-state her senior year at Northwest Whitfield.

Schedule

The Panthers have a challenging schedule to start the 2018 season, playing six games against ranked teams in the first three weeks. GSU’s season opener will be against No. 18 Michigan at the Wilson DeMarini Tournament in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 9. GSU will also face No. 2 Florida, No. 13 Auburn, No. 11 Alabama (twice) and No. 9 Florida State.

GSU’s home opener is Feb. 14 against Georgia Tech. The Panthers will play 25 games at the Heck Softball Complex in 2018.

Georgia State will begin Sun Belt play March 10 against the preseason favorites Texas State. That three-game series will take place at the Heck Softball Complex. GSU will also host rival Georgia Southern this season as the Eagles come to town May 4-5 to close out the regular season. Another big home series for the Panthers will be April 4-8 against No. 22 Louisiana.

Video/Audio Coverage

Audio streams are free online through GeorgiaStateSports.com and through the GSU Athletics mobile app.

Pricing and packages for the live video streams can be found here.

2/14 – Georgia Tech – Live Audio

3/2 – Game 1 vs. UCONN (DH) – Live Audio

3/10 – Texas State (DH) – Live Video

3/11 – Texas State – Live Audio

3/21 – Mercer – Live Video

3/28 – at Georgia Tech – Live Audio

3/30 – Troy – Live Audio

3/31 – Troy (DH) – Live Video

4/7 – Louisiana (DH) – Live Audio

4/8 – Louisiana – Live Video

4/18 – Kennesaw State – Live Audio

4/21 – Coastal Carolina (DH) – Live Video

4/22 – Coastal Carolina – Live Audio

5/4 – Georgia Southern – Live Audio

5/5 – Georgia Southern (DH) – Live Video