GLIAC -- The Saginaw Valley State University Softball team, coming off a 2017 GLIAC Tournament Championship and trip to the Midwest Region #2 Finals, has been picked to finish second in the 2018 GLIAC Softball Coaches' Poll.
The Cardinals finished with 59 points overall, including four of eight possible first-place votes. They finished just a single point behind 2018 league champion Grand Valley State, which garnered 60 points and four first-place nods. Wayne State had 52 points with a first-place vote to finish in third. Ashland (40), Davenport (32), Ferris State (28), Northwood (24), Purdue Northwest (15) and Tiffin (14) rounded-out slots four through nine, respectively in the poll.
SAGINAW VALLEY STATE (37-16 ALL, 14-8 GLIAC)
2018 Saginaw Valley State Preview
After a 2017 season in which the Cardinals recorded their third straight 30-win season, GLIAC Tournament championship and appearance in the NCAA Division II Midwest #2 Regional Finals, the Saginaw Valley State University Softball team has high expectations heading into the 2018 campaign.
The Cardinals return all eight position players and the starting DP, led by Honorable Mention All-American DP Courtney Reeves, who broke the program's single season home run record with 15 last season. Also returning to lead the way is Second Team All-Midwest Region second baseman Meredith Rousse, who led the team with a .436 average last year and belted a career-high eight home runs. Shortstop Aubree Mouthaan will also provide some pop at the plate for the Cards, as she added 11 home runs in 2017. SVSU set single season records for home runs (46), RBI (264) and doubles (93) last year. Saginaw Valley will have senior Anna Conard returning to lead the pitching staff, as it deals with the loss of all-region performer Sam Willman.
The team gets the 2018 season underway the weekend of Feb. 23-25, as they travel to Evansville, Indiana to compete in the Midwest Region Crossover Tournament. GLIAC play begins on March 21 when the Cardinals travel to play at Purdue Northwest.