RICHARDSON, Texas – McMurry University Softball was predicted to finish sixth in the American Southwest Conference West Division in the preseason poll, released by the conference office Thursday. The vote was conducted by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Three players were named to the Preseason Watch List, as well. Those players are senior pitcher Hope Schoeneman, sophomore pitcher Camille Scott and junior third baseman Emily Michki.
The ASC is going back to a two division format after having been a single division since 2014.
Mary Hardin-Baylor was tabbed to win the West with 136 points, receiving 19 of 24 first-place votes. Hardin-Simmons tallied 106 points and three first place votes, while Sul Ross State and Concordia Texas received the final two first-place votes. Sul Ross earned 91 points to be picked third, while Concordia was fourth with 70 points. Howard Payne received 53 points, with McM rounding out the division with 51 points.
East Texas Baptist received 141 points and 21 first-place votes as the top team in the East, ahead of second-place LeTourneau, who received two first-place votes and 105 points. UT Dallas garnered the final first-place vote in third and 87 points, with Louisiana College in fourth with 81 points. Belhaven (59 points) and Ozarks (27) round out the division.
“As much as we are excited to play at our new Edwards Field, we’re equally as excited for what the 2020 season will hold,” Head Coach David McNally said. “I strongly believe that this 2020 recruiting class is the best addition yet. With a mixture of fast and powerful newcomers, this year will be fun to watch.”
Schoeneman returns as the ace in the circle for the War Hawks after posting an 8-12 record, 3.77 ERA and racking up 86 strikeouts in 128.0 innings pitches. Schoeneman had 13 complete games and two shutouts, as well.
Scott is a transfer from Hardin-Simmons, where she made an impact in the circle and at the plate. In 19 appearances, nine starts, Scott went 6-3 with a 4.33 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 64.2 innings pitched. At the plate, Scott hit .271 with a home run, 21 RBIs and scored 13 runs.
Michki joins the War Hawks after two seasons at Coastal Bend College. Last season, Michki hit .405 with eight home runs, 33 RBIs and 41 runs scored. The average topped the team, while her 77 hits, 16 doubles and eight homers were all second on the team.
“If you are looking for talent, we will have several on the diamond this year, starting with returning all-conference pitcher Hope Schoeneman. She will be followed by a larger staff of pitchers that I am expecting big things from,” McNally said.
McMurry also has a number of newcomers expected to contribute, as the War Hawks enter their third year of softball in 2020.
“We have several transfer scholar athletes that will come in first year and play important starting roles, from Emily Michki to Savannah Flinn among others,” said McNally.
“This year will be fun. Let’s get ready.”
The War Hawks open the regular season and Edwards Field February 8 against Trinity University. The American Southwest Conference Championship will feature the top eight teams with the team with the best conference record serving as host.