Softball places seventh in preseason poll

Softball+placed+seventh+in+the+Horizon+League+preseason+poll.+Photo+Credit%3A+Tim+Kelley

Softball placed seventh in the Horizon League preseason poll. Photo Credit: Tim Kelley

By Tyler Gallo, Sports Editor

On Tuesday, the Horizon League announced their official softball preseason coaches’ poll for the upcoming campaign, and RMU was picked in the seventh spot for their inaugural Horizon League season, earning 44 points from the conference’s ten head coaches. Illinois-Chicago (UIC), 2019 regular-season champion, placed top in the poll.

Robert Morris, who played 19 non-conference games last season and went 8-11 before the Northeast Conference season was canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, joins the Horizon League for the 2021 season. They’ll face off against some familiar opponents, including Cleveland State who they have played 37 times in program history, and Youngstown State, who the Colonials have faced off against 41 times.

Here is how the rest of the poll shaped out:

1. UIC – 99 points

2. Youngstown State – 79 points

3. Northern Kentucky – 74 points

T-4. Detroit Mercy – 63 points

T-4. Oakland – 63 points

6. IUPUI – 49 points

7. RMU – 44 points

8. Cleveland State – 32 points

9. Purdue-Fort Wayne – 26 points

10. Green Bay – 21 points

Returning to the team are fifth-year players Natalie Higgins and Madison Riggle, who should be important pieces of the team in their first season in the conference.

The team will be led by senior Alaina York and juniors Kristýna Malá, Erika Bell, Dana Vatakis, Brittney Seibert and Madison Shiderly. The team also has eight freshmen who will look to make an impact in their first season in the red, white, and blue.

Softball will begin its season the weekend of March 12, hosting back-to-back doubleheaders against fourth-ranked Detroit Mercy as the team begins its first campaign in the Horizon League Conference.