For the sixth consecutive year Fontbonne University is the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Softball Preseason favorite.
Fontbonne received nine of ten first place votes and totaled 81 points in the poll, as voted on by the league’s coaches.
Greenville College was picked second with 71 points, including one first place vote, while Spalding University was chosen third after receiving 62 points.
Greenville welcomes in new head coach Tracy Cromer, who takes over a team that went 30-14 overall and 15-3 in the SLIAC last season. The Panthers bring back eight starters as well as 13 players from last year’s team. The Panthers return 2014 SLIAC Newcomer of the Year, sophomore infielder Tiffany Samsoe. Samsoe, a senior, hit .455 with five home runs and 44 runs batted in last season while finishing second in the conference in doubles with 19. Becca Oldham, a sophomore, helps the Panthers in numerous ways and earned First Team All-Conference honors as a utility player. Oldham hit .341 with 32 RBI at the plate and was 11-2 with 55 strikeouts in 81.2 innings pitched last season. Junior outfielder Bryn McKie also returns after hitting .440 and leading the team with 17 stolen bases while earning Second Team All-Conference honors. On the mound Hannah Burger will join Oldham. Burger, a senior, was 4-4 last year with 35 strikeouts in 56.2 innings pitched and will be looking to capitalize on her SLIAC All-Tournament team performance last spring. The young Panthers, just three seniors on the roster, add to their youth with the addition of Endia Fletcher-Wilson (three time Illinois All-State), Leah Janes (two time Arizona All-State) and Brooke Miller.