PORTLAND, Ore. — The Montana State Billings softball team was picked to finish sixth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll.
Central Washington was the overwhelming favorite to win its third consecutive regular season title. The Wildcats received six of the possible seven first-place votes.
MSUB was 16-33 overall (10-18 in the GNAC) last season under the guidance of first-year head coach Jessica Rayman.
The Yellowjackets are led by senior outfielder Heather Tracy, who earned first team all-GNAC and second-team NFCA all-West Region honors last year. Tracy .458 last spring with 36 RBIs and17 extra-base hits, including six home runs.
Senior first baseman Cameron Cassinelli earned second-team all-GNAC honors, hitting .348 with 12 doubles and 13 home runs and 51 RBIs. Her .725 slugging percentage is the best among the conference's returning hitters.
Senior Megan Dettling batted .364 last season while also earning seven wins as a pitcher with 102 strikeouts. Sophomore Maddy Lincoln had a team-high eight victories last year.
MSUB opens its season Feb. 2 at its own Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas.