SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Evangel softball team was tabbed seventh in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Coaches' Preseason Poll released by the league office on Friday.
Evangel was picked to finish seventh out of 13 teams in the preseason poll. Last season, the Crusaders went 14-20 in the Heart to finish fourth in the South Division. Evangel fell in the first round of the Heart Postseason Softball Tournament to MidAmerica Nazarene ending their season 23-24 overall.
Grand View received nine first-place votes and was picked first, followed by Central Methodist with four first-place votes and was picked second. Rounding out the top five was Benedictine, Mount Mercy and finally last year's regular-season and tournament champion, Baker.
Both Baker and Grand View represented the Heart in the postseason advancing to the NAIA Opening Round.
This season, eight teams will qualify for the postseason event with four teams set to represent each division. The division winner with the best winning percentage will receive the No. 1 seed and the other division winner will be seeded at No. 2. The remaining six times will be seeded by winning percentage, regardless of division.
The Crusaders open the 2020 season February 7 at Crowley's Ridge College in Arkansas. Evangel will then host its next 11 games at home including a pair of tournaments at the Cooper Softball Complex, Feb. 14-15, and Feb. 21-22.
1 – Grand View (9)
2 – Central Methodist (4)
3 – Benedictine
4 – Mount Mercy
5 – Baker
6 – MidAmerica Nazarene
7 – Evangel
8 – William Penn
9 – Graceland
10 – Culver-Stockton
11 – Clarke
12 – Missouri Valley
13 – Peru State
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com.