2017 GLIAC Softball Preseason Poll
View team previews online: http://bit.ly/SBPoll17
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 7, 2017
BAY CITY, Mich. — Grand Valley State and Wayne State will begin the new season as clear favorites ahead of the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) softball season, as voted on by league coaches. The Lakers (116 pts, 6 First-Place) will begin the new campaign as the No. 6 team in the nation and No. 1 in the GLIAC, while the Warriors (115 pts, 6 First-Place) earned the No. 10 position in Division II and No. 2 in the league just one point behind GVSU.
Grand Valley State finished the 2016 season with a trip to the College World Series following a 43-13 overall record and 21-5 mark in GLIAC play. Senior infielder Jenna Lenza returns for the Lakers after finishing last season third in slugging percentage (.649), fourth on-base percentage (.489) and sixth in batting average (.429) and fifth in assists (60) in league contests.
Wayne State heads into the new year with two straight conference titles, including five consecutive league tournament championships. WSU went 50-10 overall last season, including 21-3 in conference play as the Warriors welcome back 2016 NFCA National Player of the Year Lyndsay Butler for her senior year. Overall, Butler led the conference last year in batting average (.483), earned run average (0.77), wins (29), home runs (12) and strikeouts (227).
Ashland (95 pts) rings in at No. 3 in the poll and returns senior center fielder Ally Farrah (.344, 39 runs scored, 16 RBIs), senior second baseman Kalene Freshour (.298, 28 runs scored, 21 RBIs) and senior shortstop Alexis Van Horn (.258, eight home runs, 29 RBIs). Saginaw Valley (88 pts) is positioned fourth
Ferris State (80 pts) enters 2017 No. 5 in the preseason rankings with Alexx Astorga and Bailey Darwin both returning to provide the punch for the Bulldogs, while Hillsdale (No. 6, 71 pts) looks to repeat last season's success with Bekah Kastning and Katie Kish anchoring the Charger lineup.
The following programs occupy the final six spots: No. 7 Tiffin, No. 8 Findlay, No. 9 Ohio Dominican, No. 10 Walsh, No. 11 Northwood, No. 12 Lake Erie
The 2017 season gets underway Friday, February 10th with teams heading to Florida for Spring Break competition with the GLIAC regular season commencing Saturday, March 25th. The GLIAC Tournament will once again be hosted at the Marathon Diamonds in Findlay May 5th thru May 7th.
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