STEPHENVILLE – Coming off a school record 50-win season, Tarleton softball is picked to finish third in the annual Lone Star Conference preseason poll.
The LSC preseason poll is voted on by conference coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members. Tarleton collected 255 votes, including four first-place votes. Angelo State, last year’s LSC champion, is picked to finish atop the league with 282 votes and 12 first-place votes. West Texas A&M finished one vote ahead of the TexAnns for second with 256 votes. Texas A&M-Commerce is picked fourth with 253 votes.
Rounding out the league poll is Cameron in fifth, Texas A&M-Kingsville (6), Midwestern State and Texas Woman’s (tied 7th), Eastern New Mexico (9), UT Permian Basin (10) and Western New Mexico (11).
Jordan Withrow was named the LSC Preseason Pitcher of the Year after a sophomore campaign where she was the LSC Pitcher of the Year, an NFCA All-Region Second Team selection and FastpitchNews.com Honorable Mention All-American. Withrow went 26-6 in the circle with 221.1 innings of work and 252 strikeouts, becoming the first player in program history to strikeout 200 in a single season.
As a team, the TexAnns went 50-11 last season under now third-year head coach Mark Cumpian, the first 50-win season in program history. The TexAnns advanced to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Final for the second time in four years.
The TexAnns return five starters from last year’s squad, including LSC Newcomer of the Year, Tanna Huie, and LSC Freshman of the Year, Georgia Capell. Huie was also an NFCA All-Region second team selection and Capell was an NFCA third team All-American. Starters Karli Herron and Elizabeth Svienty return for their senior years with 100 combined starts between the two.
Tarleton was ranked No. 14 in the nation by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association earlier today.
Tarleton will open the season in Houston for the Arkansas Tech Winter Invitational with six games between Feb. 1-3. The TexAnns open with St. Mary’s on Friday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. For more information on Tarleton Softball and the complete schedule, visit TarletonSports.com.