Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern softball team has been picked to finish ninth in the preseason MIAA Coaches Poll the league announced today.
Southern was 19-39-1 last season and 8-12 in the MIAA, finishing tied for 8th place in MIAA play. The Lions return two-time All-MIAA first basemen Megan Roark to a squad of talented returners and newcomers. Roark was second on the team last season with a .322 batting average and five home runs, while leading the team with 33 RBIs, 10 doubles and finishing tied for second with two triples.
Defending MIAA co-champ Nebraska-Omaha is the preseason pick to win again as the Mavericks collected eight first-place votes and 118 points to edge defending MIAA co-champ Emporia State for the top spot. Emporia State was second, followed by Fort Hays, Missouri Western and Central Missouri to round out the top five. Washburn was sixth followed by Northwest Missouri, Truman, Southern and Pittsburg State at nine, Southwest Baptist and Lincoln.
The Lions open up the regular season on February 12 with a double-header at Southwestern Oklahoma.
2011 MIAA Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Nebraska-Omaha (8) – 118 pts.
2. Emporia State (4) – 114 pts.
3. Fort Hays State – 95 pts.
4. Missouri Western – 90 pts.
5. Central Missouri – 86 pts.
6. Washburn – 64 pts.
7. Northwest Missouri – 63 pts.
8. Truman – 44 pts.
T9. Missouri Southern – 39 pts.
T9. Pittsburg State – 39 pts.
11. Southwest Baptist – 29 pts.
12. Lincoln – 11 pts.