HCAC Preseason Softball Poll
By Ben Risinger, sports information director
February 2, 2005
Heartland Conference press release - pdf.
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team has been chosen as the preseason
favorite in the Heartland Conference softball coaches' poll.
The Beavers posted their best season ever in 2004 as they finished with a 26-8 overall record and a 12-2 mark in the HCAC. The team was ranked 21st in the nation by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and won the regular season HCAC championship.
Bluffton started out the 'top four' poll with 62 votes (six first place votes), Defiance was second with 47 points, Mount St. Joseph was third with 46 points and Transylvania was fourth with 44 points. Franklin, Manchester, Anderson and Hanover rounded out the final four spots on the poll.
"We are very pleased to be picked first in the preseason, we return a core group of
starters for the 2005 campaign and look to prove our preseason ranking on the field
this year," head coach Holly Spann said.
The Beavers return a solid nucleus to the 2005 squad. Junior pitcher Sarah Betts (Bryan/Bryan) and senior outfielder Allison Lange (Archbold/Archbold) were chosen as NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-Americans last year.
Betts was chosen to the third-team with Lange earning a second-team spot. Seniors
Lane Leedy (Bellville/Clear Fork) and Mandy Snider (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) also return to help lead the Beavers in the infield.
The HCAC coaches' top four is a poll of the eight conference head coaches. A complete poll is conducted with the top four teams in total points released as the "Top Four."