RICHARDSON, Texas – The University of Texas at Tyler has been picked to win the 2018 American Southwest Conference softball regular season title after a vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, announced by the conference office Thursday.
The Patriots are coming off a third-place finish at the NCAA National Championship with a 46-6 overall record. They have won the ASC regular season title each of the last four seasons. UT-Tyler received 332 points and 23 out of a possible 26 first-place votes.
The University of Texas at Dallas was selected second with 294 points and one first-place vote. The Comets went 36-10 overall and 24-6 in conference play last year. They won the ASC Championship in 2017 and made an appearance in the NCAA Championship.
East Texas Baptist University was picked third with 290 points and a first-place vote. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Super Regional after going 38-11 overall and 25-5 in the ASC.
Rounding out the poll were University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (257), Louisiana College (216), Concordia University Texas (205), Hardin-Simmons University (170, 1 first place), Belhaven University (149), LeTourneau University (134), Sul Ross State University (106), Howard Payne University (85), McMurry University (74) and University of the Ozarks (70).
For the first time, the ASC will feature all 13 member schools competing in softball. McMurry will kick off their inaugural season by hosting Trinity University on February 2.
In addition to the preseason poll, the ASC Softball Preseason Watch List’s head coaches named 36 players. Among the players returning for the 2018 season are 24 all-conference selections, including seven first-team members and the reigning ASC Pitcher of the Year – Savannah Settle from Louisiana College.
A first team all-conference selection, Settle went 15-8 with a 1.36 earned run average with 151 strikeouts and four shutouts over 154.1 innings. Settle was also a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-West Region Second Team selection.
The 2018 softball season is the 20th for ASC softball. Howard Payne will be the first league team to take the field when the Lady Jackets travel to Huston-Tillotson on January 30.
2018 ASC Softball Preseason Poll
|Rank||Team (1st place votes)||Pts.||2017 Record (ASC)|
|1.||UT Tyler (23)||332||46-6 (28-2)|
|2.||UT Dallas (1)||294||36-10 (24-6)|
|3.||East Texas Baptist (1)||290||38-11 (25-5)|
|4.||Mary Hardin-Baylor||257||26-16 (20-10)|
|5.||Louisiana College||216||26-17 (18-12)|
|6.||Concordia Texas||205||19-23 (12-18)|
|7.||Hardin-Simmons (1)||170||17-22 (11-19)|
|8.||Belhaven #||149||18-20 (n/a)|
|10.||Sul Ross State||106||13-27 (8-22)|
|11.||Howard Payne||85||7-31-1 (5-25)|
|12.||McMurry %||74||n/a (n/a)|
# Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship/NCAA Tournament (Div. III Provisional)
% Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship/NCAA Tournament (Div. III Reclassifying)
2018 ASC Softball Preseason Players to Watch
Players selected by their respective head coach
|Jorden Russell||Jr.||P||Concordia Texas|
|Haley Dennett||Jr.||SS||Concordia Texas|
|Brittani Whitten *||Sr.||OF||Concordia Texas|
|Linzie Lewis *||Sr.||2B||East Texas Baptist|
|Jordan Anderson *||Sr.||P||East Texas Baptist|
|Rocki Tello *||Sr.||P||East Texas Baptist|
|Kirsten Kenyon *||Sr.||SS||Hardin-Simmons|
|Lexie Allen *||So.||P||Hardin-Simmons|
|Ashlin Roach *||Jr.||SS||LeTourneau|
|Faith Genoway *||Jr.||P||LeTourneau|
|Savannah Settle *||Sr.||P||Louisiana College|
|Mattie Stine *||Sr.||1B||Louisiana College|
|Sam Cetta||So.||SS/3B||Louisiana College|
|Karen Tennis *||Sr.||P||Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|Devon Walter *||Sr.||OF||Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|Makenzi Dawson *||Jr.||SS||Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|Brooke Hoffsommer *||Sr.||UT||Ozarks|
|Hannah Oler *||Sr.||P/UT||Ozarks|
|Katie Ventress *||Sr.||P/DP||Ozarks|
|Jackie Gonzalez *||Sr.||P||Sul Ross State|
|Zuriah Leyva *||Jr.||3B||Sul Ross State|
|Darrian Doederlien *||Sr.||OF||Sul Ross State|
|Melissa Livermore *||Jr.||OF||UT Dallas|
|Stefanie Polderman *||Sr.||OF||UT Dallas|
|Jessica Vlasek *||So.||IF||UT Dallas|
|Andrea Gonzales *||Sr.||1B||UT Tyler|
|Colleen Bentke||Jr.||P||UT Tyler|
|Hannah Moore *||Sr.||UT||UT Tyler|
American Southwest Conference