CARMEL, Ind. – The Hanover softball team was pegged to finish tied for sixth with Manchester in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason poll voted on by the teams nine coaches, announced Wednesday afternoon.
The Panthers and Spartans received 39 points in the poll. The 2019 HCAC Conference Tournament Champion, Transylvania was picked the favorite with 62 points and six first place votes. The HCAC regular season champions, the Mount St. Joseph Lions claimed the second-place spot with 58 points and the final three first place votes.
The rest of the poll plays out as followed: Anderson (44), Franklin (43), Defiance (39), Hanover (27), Manchester (27), Rose-Hulman (13) and Bluffton (11).
Hanover enters the 2020 season under the guidance of third year head coach Cori Collinsworth, who in her first two seasons have propelled the team to a 32-38 overall record with a 13-19 mark in HCAC play. Furthermore, Collinsworth became the only head coach in program history to finish their inaugural season with a winning percentage above .500.
Edington returns as a premier offensive power for the Panthers posting a team-leading .396 batting average while hitting .404 in league action. The senior opened the 2019 campaign with a 10-game hitting streak before closing out the year leading the Panthers in RBI (22), runs scored (22), extra base hits (11), and total bases (61).
She is joined by Beurman on the HCAC preseason players to watch list, who comes into 2020 as the team's top threat in the circle. The junior earned her second all-conference honor making 27 appearances with 20 starts for the Panthers. Beurman concluded the season with an 8-11 overall mark posting 2.61 earned run average. Her 147 strikeouts led the HCAC in 2019 and placed her among the top 25 nationally.
The Panthers are set to open the 2020 season with its annual trip to Orlando, Fla. where they will compete in The Spring Games. The week opens on Sunday, February 23 with Cabrini. First pitch is slated for 2:00 P.M.
2020 Softball Preseason Poll
|Rank||Institution||Points (1st Votes)|
|2.||Mt. St. Joseph||58 (3)|