COACH: Jerry Snyder
2012 RECORD: 26-17, 10-10 Peach Belt
KEY PLAYERS: India Kornegay, junior pitcher; Kaitlyn White, junior infielder; Lindsey Jones, senior infielder
BETWEEN THE LINES: USC Aiken reached the conference tournament semifinals last season after beating Augusta State in the quarterfinals. After bowing out, the Lady Pacers missed an at-large bid for the NCAA Southeast Regional. USC Aiken enters the season ranked fifth in the preseason conference poll. The Lady Pacers are three points ahead of Augusta State in the poll.
PAINE LADY LIONS
COACH: Zack Howard
2012 RECORD: 14-20, 8-18 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic
KEY PLAYERS: Kelsey Baker, senior catcher/infielder; Alexandria Taylor, junior infielder
BETWEEN THE LINES: Paine finished last season with a seven-win improvement from the 2011 season, including five more conference wins. The Lady Lions return their top two bats from a year ago (Taylor hit .431; Baker hit .402 with five homers). Paine will have to replace its top starting pitcher, Simone Kennedy, who graduated.