Southern softball selected ninth in MIAA preseason coaches poll

Joplin, Mo. - The Missouri Southern softball team has been picked to finish 9th in the 2014 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll, the league announced today. 

Southern is coming off a 26-24 overall record in 2013, their second winning season in the last three years. With all eight position players and their top two pitchers returning this season, expectations for the 2014 season are high. The Lions return three all-conference players from last year, including second-team honoree in senior right fielder Shelby Romines. Junior second baseman Brooke Swadley and sophomore Alana Hester also return to the lineup after earning All-MIAA honorable mention honors in 2013.

Defending national champion Central Oklahoma, who was selected as the preseason number one team in the country by the NFCA, was picked to win the league after winning the regular season last year. The Bronchos are followed by Missouri Western, Fort Hays State, Emporia State and Northeastern State in the top five. Pittsburg State was sixth, followed by Central Missouri, Northwest Missouri, Southern, Lindenwood, Washburn, Nebraska-Kearney, Lincoln and Southwest Baptist. 

Southern opens up the 2014 season on Friday, February 7 playing at the Southeastern Regional Crossover in Durant, Okla. against host school #10 Southeastern Oklahoma at noon.

2014 MIAA Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Central Oklahoma (13)       169
2. Missouri Western (1)          156
3. Fort Hays State                  138
4. Emporia State                    130
5. Northeastern State             115
6. Pittsburg State                   111
7. Central Missouri                   95
8. Northwest Missouri              93
9. Missouri Southern             73
10. Lindenwood                       63
11. Washburn                          51
12. Nebraska-Kearney             40
13. Lincoln                               25
14. Southwest Baptist              15