ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A preseason poll conducted by St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference softball coaches has selected Eureka College to finish sixth in the league in 2019, the SLIAC announced this week.
Two-time defending regular-season champion Westminster was voted first with 78 points, followed by Greenville (70), Spalding and Fontbonne (62) and Webster (52). Westminster received seven of 10 first-place votes. Greenville received two and Spalding had one.
Eureka had 37 points, and the bottom four teams were Blackburn (31), Iowa Wesleyan (29), Principia (15) and MacMurray (12).
The Red Devils won't have any seniors this year, but they return four starters and only six total players from last season's 25-win squad. Chief among them are a pair of junior Third Team All-SLIAC selections in catcher Morgan Osborn (Washington, Ill./Washington) and pitcher Erin Smith (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap). The other two returning starters are sophomore infielders Allison Cagley (Fairbury, Ill./Prairie Central) and Adrianna Zeman (La Salle, Ill./La Salle-Peru).
Eureka will begin the 2019 campaign on Sunday, March 10 at 12 p.m. when the Red Devils host Buena Vista in a season-opening doubleheader at Sweitzer Field. The Red Devils will open conference play at home against Blackburn on Saturday, March 23.
EC is tentatively scheduled to host 22 home games this season.