2017 SCAC SOFTBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

The head softball coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference voted for a preseason predicted order of finish. Seven points were awarded for a first-place vote, six points for a second-place, down to one point for a seventh-place vote. The following is the results of that preseason balloting.

PRESEASON #7

AUSTIN COLLEGE

Austin College is slated to finish seventh after posting a 14-26 overall mark (4-20 in the SCAC) a season ago. Head coach Kat Lester takes over the 'Roo program after being announced as head coach in August. She served as an assistant coach at fellow NCAA Division III member Hamilton College in New York last season. Although Lester inherits a young squad (just four seniors), all but one starter from last year's final series returns for the 2017 campaign.

PRESEASON #6

SCHREINER UNIVERSITY

Schreiner University, the coaches' sixth selection, is coming off a 9-31 campaign (7-17 in the SCAC). Entering her third season at the helm of the program, head coach Amy Meyer returns the entirety of her roster from a year ago, and, along with the addition of five freshmen, the Mountaineers hope to make a similar post-season tournament run as the upstart 2015 team did when it reached the SCAC tournament semifinals before settling for a third-place finish.

PRESEASON #5

CENTENARY COLLEGE

Coming in at the fifth slot in the coaches' predicted order of finish rankings was Centenary College. Under first-year head coach Mark Suire, the Ladies finished 23-22 (9-15 SCAC) and placed third at the 2016 SCAC Tournament after entering the event as the fifth seed. The 2016 campaign marked the first time in six seasons the program had recorded double-digit wins and the first time since 2009 it finished above .500. The 16-victory improvement from 2015 was the third-biggest win increase in NCAA Division III last season.

PRESEASON #4

UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS

The University of Dallas was slated for a fourth-place finish a season after putting up a 21-23 overall mark, 13-11 in the SCAC and a third-place finish during the regular season. Head Coach Elizabeth Krysiak enters her fourth season at the helm of the Crusaders. Prior to her arrival, the team had produced just six wins the previous season, and the last two seasons have witnessed the highest total of program wins in a spring campaign respectively at 20 and 21.

PRESEASON #3

SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

The coaches' third choice, Southwestern University (18-24 overall; 11-13 SCAC) looks to move back to the top of the conference standings for the first time since 2013. Head Coach Angela Froboese is in her ninth season at the helm of the first-ever intercollegiate softball program at Southwestern and has guided the Pirates to conference titles in 2010 and 2013. Following a fourth-place regular season finish a season ago, the Pirates will rely on an influx of 14 first-year players to return the program to prominence in 2017.

PRESEASON #2

TRINITY UNIVERSITY

After posting its most wins since 2013 and finding itself one win away from the SCAC title, Trinity University (26-16 overall; 17-7 SCAC) enters the 2017 campaign as the coaches' second choice. Despite being just one win away from the program's eighth conference championship and seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, the future appears bright for the Tigers as head coach Brandi Crnkovic welcomes back eight of nine positional starters from last year's title game squad - including five freshmen who return for their sophomore campaign.

PRESEASON #1

TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY

Three-time defending conference champion Texas Lutheran University is once again selected to finish atop the SCAC standings as the coaches tabbed the Bulldogs as the preseason favorite. After last season's record-setting run where Texas Lutheran posted a school-record 43 wins (against just five losses) and was ranked as high as No. 3 for four consecutive weeks during the regular season, the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Regional final for the second time in three years before falling to eventual national champion UT-Tyler. Head Coach Wade Wilson will have to replace seven seniors who, as a class, combined for an overall record of 146-32 in their four years in Seguin.

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