Ripon, WI – The Midwest Conference released the 2014 Softball and Baseball preseason polls today, with the Softball squad picked to take the North Division and the Baseball team coming in fourth in their divisional standings.
The Buccaneer Softball team, who returns eight starting position players and their top pitcher under seventh-season head coach Kim Zarling, received three first-place votes to edge out both Carroll University (1) and Lawrence University for the top spot in the North Division. Defending Division Champion St. Norbert College got the remaining first-place vote and were fourth in the Division followed by Ripon College.
In the South Division, defending MWC Champion Cornell College got five first-place votes to out-distance Lake Forest College, who had one first-place vote. Illinois College was third followed by Monmouth College, Knox College and Grinnell College.
The Buccaneers open the 2014 season in Winter Haven, Florida, on March 9, against Simpson College of Iowa as part of the Rebel Spring Games. The home opener is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, in a triangular with Loras College and Concordia Chicago at the Strong Complex Softball Field.
St. Norbert received three first-place votes to top the North Division in Baseball followed by defending MWC Champion Ripon, who received the remaining first-place votes. Carroll was third in the vote followed by the Buccaneers and Lawrence.
In the South Division, Knox got three first-place votes to edge out Cornell, who got the remaining two first-place votes. Grinnell was next ahead of Illinois College and Monmouth.
The Bucs, who return five starting position players and two starting pitchers under 24th-season head coach Dave DeGeorge, open their 2014 season in Leesburg, Florida, on March 9, in a doubleheader with Becker College of Massachusetts as part of the RussMatt Central Florida Invite. Beloit is scheduled for their home opener on Saturday, March 22, against Wisconsin Lutheran College at The Ballpark at Strong Stadium.