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    Feb. 6, 2013

    INDIANAPOLIS – The UIC softball team was selected as the No. 2 team in the Horizon League preseason poll with 39 points and one first-place vote, it was released Wednesday morning from the League headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind.

    “I think it says a lot that we were picked as one of the top teams in the Horizon League,” head coach Michelle Venturella said. “I have a lot of respect for the coaches in our League with the amount of work and dedication each of them put forth to make this a competitive conference. We are looking forward to starting our season this Friday to do everything we can to be prepared for our conference games.”

    Loyola received 48 points and six first-place votes to secure the top spot in the poll. UIC edged Valparaiso by two points to place the Crusaders third with 37 points and one first-place vote. Youngstown State and Green Bay claimed fourth (30 points) and fifth place (22), respectively. Cleveland State placed sixth with 20 points, while Wright State and Detroit rounded out the poll with 19 and 9 points, in that order.

    The Flames begin their 2013 campaign Friday against Nebraska at 1:30 p.m. (CT) at the Hotel Encanto Tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.

    2013 PRESEASON VOTING

    1) Loyola (6 first-place votes) 48

    2) UIC (1) 39

    3) Valparaiso (1) 37

    4) Youngstown State 30

    5) Green Bay 22

    6) Cleveland State 20

    7) Wright State 19

    8) Detroit 9

    --UIC—