Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Massachusetts Picked to Win 2019 A-10 Softball Title

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Massachusetts has been predicted to win the Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Championship, according to the preseason poll conducted by the league’s 10 head coaches, announced on Thursday.

The Minutewomen received nine first-place votes to take the top spot in the poll with 99 points while Dayton and Fordham each had 80 points to tie for second in the rankings.

Saint Louis finished fourth in the voting with 66 points, followed by George Mason and George Washington who tied for fifth with 57 points. Saint Joseph’s (49), Rhode Island (27), La Salle (21), and St. Bonaventure (14) rounded out the votes.

Massachusetts enters the 2019 season after winning its 24th regular season conference title in program history and first since the 2012 season with a perfect conference season (21-0). The Minutewomen return eight positional starters from last season, including five who batted .361 or better in Atlantic 10 play. UMass is led by 2018 Pitcher of the Year, Kiara Oliver along with her All-Conference teammates Erin Stacevicz, Melissa Garcia, Kaitlyn Stavinoha, and Kaycee Carbone.

Dayton, the three seed from last year’s championship, returns five starts. The Flyers begin the season led by the 2018 First Team All-Conference catcher, Kyle Davidson. Dayton also welcomes back First Team All-Conference Designated Player and All-Rookie Team member Abby Ehrenborg and Second Team All-Conference Second Baseman Lisa Tassi.

Fordham, the defending A-10 champions, come into the season with a new head coach, Melissa Inouye. The Rams, winners of six consecutive, and seven of the last eight A-10 championships, will enter the 2019 campaign led by First Team All-Conference center fChelsea Skrepenak and Second Team All-Conference pitcher Madie Aughinbaugh.

The regular season kicks off the weekend of February 8-10, with five of the 10 A-10 teams in action. The 2019 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship will be hosted by Massachusetts at the UMass Softball Complex May 8-11 in Amherst, Massachusetts. View the full 2019 schedule at Atlantic10.com, or visit Championship Central for more information.

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