HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana softball team was picked fourth in the 2019 Southland Conference Preseason Softball Poll, which was released by the conference office on Wednesday. Five positional starters and 15 letter winners return from last season’s SLU squad, which finished 38-21 overall and 18-9 in league play – good for a second-place showing. The Lady Lions’ overall and conference win totals, as well as their league finish in 2018 were school records.
In the lineup, All-Southland performers Jaquelyn Ramon and Ali McCoy return, as do key contributors Rebecca Skains, Ella Manzer and Madison Watson, among others. Reinforcing the Lady Lion attack will be newcomers Bobbi Smith, Mima Doucet, Emily Henderson, Karlee Kraft and Lindsey Rizzo, among others. Juniors Alley McDonald and Ali McCoy are the top returning pitchers for the Lady Lions. Sophie Hannabas and Briahna Bennett are two of the new faces expected to make an immediate impact in the circle.
Defending regular season champion Nicholls was picked to repeat atop the standings, as the Colonels and defending tournament champion McNeese occupy the top two spots in the prognostication. Central Arkansas received one more point in the poll than SLU, which was followed closely by Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State.
Sam Houston State, Abilene Christian, Lamar, UIW, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist rounded out the poll. The poll was voted on by the Southland head coaches and sports information directors.
Southeastern will open the 2019 season on Feb. 7, hosting San Jose State at 5 p.m. at North Oak Park.
2019 Southland Conference Preseason Softball Poll
Team (First-place votes) – Points
1. Nicholls (18) – 238
2. McNeese (6) – 224
3. Central Arkansas – 164
4. Southeastern Louisiana – 163
5. Stephen F. Austin – 158
6. Northwestern State – 156
7. Sam Houston State – 145
8. Abilene Christian – 119
9. Lamar – 80
10. UIW – 61
11. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – 40
12. Houston Baptist – 36
Article courtesy of Southeastern Sports Information Department.