Sam Houston State Softball picked 7th in coaches' preseason poll

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FRISCO, Texas -- Just a day after the Southland Conference released its preseason all-conference teams, conference officials unveiled this year’s predicted order of finish with the Sam Houston State Bearkats picked seventh in the 13-team league.

Sam Houston received 145 points in the voting, 11 back of Northwestern State who was picked to finish sixth.

Defending league champion Nicholls hauled in 18 first-place votes as a combination of the league’s coaches and sports information directors dubbed the Colonels as favorites to repeat as champions in 2019.

The McNeese Cowgirls were picked second, bringing in the remaining six first-place vote and 224 total points.

Central Arkansas (164), Southeastern Louisiana (163) and Stephen F. Austin (158) round out the top five. The Kats are followed by Abilene Christian (119), Lamar (80), UIW (61), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (40) and Houston Baptist (36).

The Kats return 13 players from a team that went 24-33 a season ago, placing fourth in the Southland Conference Tournament.

Sam Houston kicks off its 2019 campaign on Feb. 9 against Kentucky in the opener of the 2019 Houston Invitational. They’ll also be going head-to-head with Oklahoma State, Illinois, and Houston to round off the weekend.

The Bearkats will then return home to take on Texas Southern on Feb. 13 at 6:30 P.M.