Missouri State Softball Slotted Fourth in Preseason Poll
Jan. 25, 2012
The Missouri State softball team was chosen to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference this season according to the preseason coaches poll released by the league office today. The Bears garnered 66 points and were picked behind preseason-favorite Illinois State (96 points), UNI (87) and Southern Illinois (81).
"This is probably the highest pick we've had in several years," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We have every chance to finish higher than fourth, but fourth-place is a respectable place for us to be picked right now. Nat (Natalie Rose) will have an outstanding senior year and if she does, the team will have that kind of a year as well."
Senior pitcher Natalie Rosewas selected to the preseason all-conference team as well. Rose, last season's MVC Tournament MVP, led the league in strikeouts (258), saves (5) and games started (39). She was an all-MVC first team selection last year and continued to succeed with four straight victories in the MVC Tournament in May. A two-time winner of the MVC Pitcher of the Week in 2011, Rose fired the 13th no-hitter in Bears' history on May 7 against Evansville.
The Bears went 30-25 last season and won the MVC Tournament for the sixth time in school history. MSU then went 1-2 in the Norman Regional of the NCAA Tournament, which included an elimination game victory over Iona.
Missouri State begins the 2012 season on February 17 at the Mean Green Classic in Denton, Texas. First pitch against Sam Houston State is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The Bears first victory this season will be the 600th of Hesse's MSU career.
2012 Preseason All-MVC Team