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ASC Preseason Softball Poll Released
Louisiana College and Texas Lutheran Picked to Win Division Softball Titles
January 25, 2005

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RICHARDSON, Texas--- Texas Lutheran University and Louisiana College have been picked by the American Southwest Conference head coaches and sports information directors as the favorites to win conference division softball titles in 2005. The preseason ASC softball poll was released on Tuesday (Jan. 25).

Defending ASC West Division champion Texas Lutheran was picked to repeat its title, claiming 11 of 14 first-place votes and totaling 92 points. The Bulldogs are coming off a 29-11-1 season and advanced to the semifinals of the ASC Softball Championship Tournament. Louisiana College received six of 14 first-place votes and totaled 89 points to earn the favorite label in the ASC East Division. The Lady Wildcats were 26-8 a year ago, placing third in the ASC East.

Texas Lutheran outdistanced ASC West second-place pick Mary Hardin-Baylor (79 pts., 1 first-place vote), third-place Hardin-Simmons (67 pts., two first-place votes) and fourth-place Howard Payne (66 pts.). Sul Ross State (35 pts.), Schreiner (29 pts.) and Concordia-Austin (24 pts.) were picked to finish fifth through seventh in the ASC West.

Defending ASC East and conference champion East Texas Baptist collected seven first-place votes, but trailed favored Louisiana College by four poll points (85 pts.) to place second. Texas-Dallas, runner-up to ETBU in the division race and the conference championship tournament last season, was picked third (67 pts.) while the first-year Texas-Tyler softball program was slated at fourth-place (54 pts., one first-place vote). Fifth-place Mississippi College (40 pts.), sixth-place University of the Ozarks (34 pts.) and seventh-place LeTourneau (23 pts.) complete the projected ASC East picks.

ASC Diamond Notables

  • Softball sponsorship in the ASC expands for the second consecutive season with the addition of Texas-Tyler, the 14th program in the conference. The Patriots, under the direction of former East Texas Baptist head coach Mike Reed, will be ineligible for the ASC Championship Tournament as they complete NCAA Division III provisional membership requirements. UT Tyler will, however, be eligible for the ASC East title. . . . Hardin-Simmons joined the conference softball lineup in 2004, finishing fifth in the ASC West.
  • All 14 ASC softball programs will be showcased at the March 4-5 ASC First Pitch Tournament at Oran Good Park in Farmers Branch, Texas. Teams will play two games each day against opponents from the opposite conference division, with games counting toward conference won-loss records.
  • The ASC Softball Championship Tournament field expands from four to six teams in 2005. The top three seeded teams in each division advance to the three-day tournament, scheduled April 28-29-30 at Southwest Park in Irving, Texas. East Texas Baptist has won each of the last five ASC Championship Tournaments.

Voted within each division by institution’s head coach, sports information director and media; First-place votes in parentheses

EAST DIVISION   Pts. 2004 Records
1 Louisiana College (6) 89 26-8, 15-7 ASC
2 East Texas Baptist (7) 85 41-5, 22-2 ASC
3 Texas-Dallas 67 25-15, 17-7 ASC
4 Texas-Tyler (1) 54 First year program
5 Mississippi College 40 22-14, 11-11 ASC
6 Univ. of the Ozarks 34 19-18, 9-15 ASC
7 LeTourneau 23 7-32, 2-22 ASC
WEST DIVISION Pts. 2004 Records
1 Texas Lutheran (11) 92 29-11-1, 22-4-1 ASC
2 Mary Hardin-Baylor (1) 79 25-13, 20-8 ASC
3 Hardin-Simmons (2) 67 10-27-1, 7-19-1 ASC
4 Howard Payne 66 21-13, 19-9 ASC
5 Sul Ross State 35 9-27, 4-19 ASC
6 Schreiner 29 9-17, 9-15 ASC
7 Concordia-Austin 24 5-31, 4-23 ASC

Voted within each division by institution’s head coach, sports information director and media; First-place votes in parentheses

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