RICHARDSON, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ softball team was picked to finish third in the ASC in the 2023 preseason poll voted on by the league head coaches and sports information directors, announced on Wednesday.

The Cowgirls finished the season last year in the ASC tournament, falling to the eventual champs from Belhaven. Hardin-Simmons finished 29-15 and 18-12 in the conference last season.

Seniors Kaylen Washington, Haven Williams, and Brittanie Henry were named preseason players to watch for the Cowgirls.

The Cowgirls open the season against Texas Lutheran at home on Friday February 10 at 3 p.m. at Ellis Field.

East Texas Baptist was selected first place after receiving 194 points and 16 first place votes. ETBU last won the ASC Softball Championship in 2021, which was the 10th for the program. The Tigers were runners-up last spring in the conference tournament and qualified for their 15th NCAA Division III National Tournament (10th straight) and hosted their third NCAA Regional Tournament in a row.

Mary Hardin-Baylor was picked second with 179 points and received two first place votes. UMHB tied the Tigers in second for conference record (24-6) in 2022. Hardin-Simmons takes third place with 159 points and one first place vote.

UT Dallas followed in fourth place with 116 points, while McMurry closed the top half of the standings with 114 points. Sul Ross State (106), LeTourneau (89/1), Concordia Texas (81), Ozarks (35), and Howard Payne (27) completed the predicted order to finish.

In addition to the preseason poll, a total of 29 players were named to the ASC Softball Preseason Watch List by the head coaches. This list includes 15 named to 2022 ASC All-Conference.

The 2023 campaign is the 25th for ASC softball. First pitch begins on Friday, February 10.

The 2023 ASC Softball Championship Tournament is scheduled for May 11-13 and will feature a single-bracket tournament with the top six teams qualifying and the number one seed hosting.

Rawlings is the official softball of the American Southwest Conference.