GREENWOOD, Ind. - The Defiance College Yellow Jackets Softball team was picked to finish seventh in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in the preseason coaches' poll. Five Yellow Jackets were also named to the preseason players to watch list.
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The Yellow Jackets, who totaled 33 points, were edged out by Transylvania (35) in the voting, sitting two points behind.
Manchester was picked to win the conference, edging out Anderson by just one point in the vote. Anderson received 73 points, including six first-place votes, but finished behind Manchester, who took first with 74 points and two first-place votes. The final first-place vote went to Hanover, who took fourth in the preseason poll with 49 points.
Bluffton was selected third with 58 points and Franklin finished one point behind Hanover with 48. Rose-Hulman (20) and Mount St. Joseph (15) rounded out the final two spots in the poll.
The Yellow Jackets had five players make the Preseason Players to Watch List.
Macy Ferrall (St. Marys, Ohio/Memorial) is the lone senior to be named to the list. The third baseman started in all 38 games for Defiance last season, hitting .308 with an on base percentage of .388. Ferrall had nine extra base hits, including a home run to go along with 19 runs batted in and 36 runs scored.
Junior pitcher Lauren Dicke (Lima, Ohio/Shawnee) also made the list. Dicke made 18 appearances in 2013 with 11 starts. She pitched three complete games on the season, including two wins and a shutout. Dicke finished with a 4.64 era and had 32 strikeouts to 19 walks.
Fellow pitcher Alli Rowland (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville) also made the list for Defiance. The sophomore picked up eight wins in her freshman campaign. Rowland made 21 appearances with 17 starts, limiting opponents to a .277 batting average and a 2.22 era. Rowland had a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and tossed a no hitter in her final game last season.
The other two players to make the list for Defiance were freshman Kali Campbell (Dundee, Mich./Dundee) and Megan Warren (Mason, Ohio/Mason). Campbell will look to be behind the plate for the Purple and Gold while sharing the duties with Warren, who will also step into the Shortstop position.
The Yellow Jackets will start off the 2014 season on March 7 in Danville, Ky. with a double header against Centre College. The conference slate will begin March 22 against Rose-Hulman.