PITTSBURG -- Fort Scott High School's softball team was picked to finish in third place in the Southeast Kansas League while the baseball team was tabbed fourth in a pre-season coaches poll released at a media conference held here Monday.
The Tiger softball team received one first-place vote and six top-three votes, according to the poll conducted by KSEK-FM. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
Defending champion Labette County received 7 first-place votes and scored 63 points. Parsons picked up a first-place vote and was picked to finish second with 54 points. Fort Scott gathered 49 points and Columbus and Chanute were picked to tie for fourth with 40 points. Independence was tabbed for sixth place with 29 points followed by Pittsburg in seventh with 25, Iola eighth with 13 and Coffeyville ninth with 11 points.
Iola, which led the SEK until the final day of last season, was picked to win the league in its final season as a member. The Mustangs received five first-place votes and 53 points. Co-champion Pittsburg was picked second with two first-place votes and 48 points. The other 2011 co-champ, Columbus, got a first-place vote and 36 points.
Fort Scott just missed third in the poll, picking up 35 points. Independence was picked fifth with 33 points followed by Chanute sixth with 29 points, LCHS seventh with 24, Parsons eighth with 19 and Coffeyville ninth with 11 points. One school did not turn in a ballot.
Fort Scott's baseball season under new head coach Josh Regan begins March 26 at Nevada. The Tiger softball season gets underway March 27 with its annual home tournament which features Blue Valley Northwest, Pittsburg and new entrant Baxter Springs.