RICHARDSON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team has been picked for seventh place in the eight-team Lone Star Conference in a poll released on Friday by the LSC office.
ENMU, under first-year coach Kristen Soukup, finished with 40 points to edge out Texas A&M-Kingsville, which had 37.
The Zias were ninth in what was then a 10-team league last season, posting an overall record of 14-42 (6-21 LSC).
Defending champion Texas Woman’s was picked to repeat its title, earning 13 of 24 first-place votes and collecting 166 points. West Texas A&M, Midwestern State and Angelo State each drew first-place votes and followed fairly closely behind the Pioneers in the next three slots.
TWU also had the preseason player and pitcher of the year in senior infielder Katie Hines and senior pitcher Brandie Lander.
Games begin next weekend. LSC teams will play a single round-robin, three-game series against each of the other seven squads, plus one game against each at the LSC showcase at Midwestern State March 13-16.
The exception will be for travel partners — in EMNU’s case, West Texas A&M — where one doubleheader will be played at each site.
The regular-season champion will earn the No. 1 seed and host the conference tournament May 2-3. The tournament winner will receive the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division II tournament.
School (1st-place votes) Pts
1. Texas Woman’s (13) 166
2. West Texas A&KM (8) 159
3. Midwestern State (1) 146
4. Angelo State (2) 145
5. Tarleton STate 95
6. Cameron 76
7. Eastern New Mexico 40
8. Texas A&M-Kingsville 37
Player of the year — Katie Hines, Texas Woman’s, inf., Sr..
Pitcher of the year — Brandi Lander, Texas Woman’s, Sr., RHP.