The Midwest Conference released its 2019 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll and season preview on Thursday and Lake Forest College was atop the list.
Voting for the league's preseason poll is done by the MWC head softball coaches. Each coach votes for the other 10 schools in the conference in order of predicted finish. Points are assigned in reverse order of voting (10 points for first, nine for second, etc.). Coaches may not vote for their own teams. The Foresters were listed first on eight of 10 ballots and received 80 of a possible 81 points.
The first-place team in the regular season standings will earn the conference title and the right to host the four-team MWC Tournament, which will be played May 3-4. The tournament champion will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which will begin on May 9.
Lake Forest is looking for its second straight conference title, its fifth in the last six years, and 11th in program history, more than any other active member of the league. The team returns 14 letter winners and six all-conference honorees, including 2018 First Team All-MWC selections Maria Zepeda, Missy Dieckman-Meyer, and Sydney Wyatt.
The Foresters posted a 29-13 overall record last season and came out on top in 17 of 18 conference contests.
Under the direction of 13th-year head coach Joe Kinsella, Lake Forest will open the season indoors with a pair of games against Buena Vista University on Saturday at the N4C Softball Dome Jamboree in Rosemont, Illinois. The Foresters will also compete in The Spring Games near Orlando, Florida, from March 11-16 before playing their first official road games of the year at Illinois Wesleyan University on March 28. They will start MWC play at Lawrence University on March 30 and will take on St. Norbert College in their home opener the next day. The final doubleheader of the regular season is scheduled for Monday, April 29, at the University of Chicago.
|PLACE||TEAM (FIRST PLACE VOTES)||POINTS|
|1||Lake Forest College (8)||80|
|2||Illinois College (1)||69|
|3||Cornell College (1)||68|
|7||St. Norbert College||37|