Westminster softball was chosen to finished second in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference preseason poll, based on votes from the league's head coaches.
The Blue Jays received five first-place votes, but was chosen second by just one point to Greenville.
Westminster is coming off of a regular season conference title in the 2017 season, finishing 24-13 and 16-2 in conference play. The Blue Jays lost last year's SLIAC Player of the Year Erica Burney and SLIAC Pitcher of the Year Alyson Hahn, but the squad will look to supplement her offensive power with 14 new players to the team in 2018. Callie Collier, Aubrie Vaughn, and Mackenzie Myers are the trio of returning sophomores looking to make a splash after strong freshman seasons. Amber Tepen is the lone upperclassman on the team.
"While the preseason poll shows a lot of respect for our program, we are very young with only one senior," said Westminster Head Coach Joe Henderson. "We will post a line up of all freshman and sophomores except for Amber Tepen and will depend on our youth to step up and mature through a very difficult non-conference schedule that includes a tough spring break trip to California.
Despite the unprecedented success for the squad last season, Henderson expects this team to take it a step further.
"I am excited to see what this year's team can do and they are energized, working hard, and are pushing for an NCAA berth," said Henderson. "The conference championship was history breaking for Westminster but the last two years we have come up short in the tournament. We are looking to push through this year."
Westminster opens up the 2018 season Feb. 17-18 with a trip to Conway Arkansas to face Hendrix and Centenary College.
2018 SLIAC Preseason Poll