(Editor’s note: Cascade Collegiate Conference media release)
LA GRANDE, Ore. – Coming off of 2018 regular season and tournament championships, as well as a trip to the NAIA softball World Series final site, the Southern Oregon University softball program has earned the top spot in the 2019 Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) preseason coaches’ poll.
The Raiders received eight first-place votes and a total of 80 points. Southern finished last year with a program-best 51-15 overall record, including a 22-5 mark in conference play. The squad went on to win their opening round of the NAIA tournament to advance to the final site. At the final site SOU won four elimination games before succumbing to Columbia (Mo.) and ending the season ranked No. 3 in the country.
Oregon Tech landed in second place on the poll with 70 points adding one first-place vote. The Lady Owls finished 39-15 overall and 21-6 in conference. Corban, the NAIA Championship runner-up in 2017, finished 37-15 overall and 21-6 in CCC play last season and is picked third this year, garnering one first-place vote.
Eastern Oregon is picked fourth with 49 points followed by a tie between Carroll College (45) and College of Idaho (45) in fifth, and British Columbia (42) in seventh. The University of Providence and Northwest University landed at No. 8 tied with 19 points in the preseason poll. Northwest Christian is picked in the final spot (13).
Southern, Oregon Tech, Corban and Eastern all advanced to the NAIA Championships from the CCC in 2018.
2019 conference play is set to begin March 1-2.
2019 CCC Softball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
First-place votes in parentheses, total points at right
1. Southern Oregon (8), 80
2. Oregon Tech (1), 70
3. Corban (1), 69
4. Eastern Oregon, 49
T5. Carroll College, 45
T5. College of Idaho, 45
7. British Columbia, 42
T8. Providence, 19
T8. Northwest, 19
10. Northwest Christian, 13
The NAIA softball preseason poll will be released Jan. 15.