The Midwest Conference released its 2017 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll on Wednesday and Lake Forest College was tied with Monmouth College atop the rankings.
Voting is done by the MWC head softball coaches. Each coach votes for the other nine schools in the league in order of predicted finish. Points are assigned in reverse order of voting (nine points for first, eight for second, etc.). Coaches may not vote for their own teams.
The Foresters, who captured conference titles each of the last two seasons, received six of the 10 first-place votes and 76 points overall while Monmouth garnered four first-place votes and the same 76 points.
Lake Forest graduated four of their five all-conference players from last year but return senior pitcher Jenny McTague, a three-time All-MWC selection and the 2014 MWC South Division Pitcher of the Year. Other returning starters include junior shortstop Kat Beall, sophomore centerfielder Maria Zepeda, and sophomore infielder Alyssa Grimm.
The Foresters will open the season against Amherst College on March 12 at The Spring Games in Clermont, Florida. Lake Forest will also face 11 other teams during its Spring Break trip. The Foresters' home opener is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, against the University of Wisconsin-Stout and they will begin league play against visiting St. Norbert College on Sunday, April 2. The regular season will come to a close the final weekend of April with the league champion hosting the four-team MWC Tournament May 5-6.
Lake Forest has claimed the last three conference titles and nine overall.
|PLACE||TEAM (First Place Votes)||POINTS|
|1t||Lake Forest College (6)||76|
|1t||Monmouth College (4)||76|
|7||St. Norbert College||35|