BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – SIUE has been predicted to finish third in the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference softball race by a vote of the league's coaches and sports information directors.
The Cougars, who have advanced to the OVC Tournament title game in each of the last four seasons, open the 2018 season in less than three weeks.
SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery will take her squad to the Trojan Classic in Troy, Alabama, to begin the season. The Cougars begin the season Feb. 9 by facing off against Valparaiso and Alabama State. The three-day tournament includes a game against host Troy and repeat games against Alabama State and Valparaiso.
Jacksonville State was selected as the preseason favorite followed by UT Martin, SIUE, Eastern Illinois, Murray State, Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Southeast Missouri, Morehead State, Tennessee Tech, Austin Peay and Tennessee State. Five different schools received first-place votes.
SIUE's home opener is March 21 against Illinois.
2018 OVC Softball Predicted Order of Finish
(as voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors)
Jacksonville State (15 first-place votes) – 230
UT Martin (3 first-place votes) – 203
SIUE – 186
Eastern Illinois (3 first-place votes) – 183
Murray State (2 first-place votes) – 169
Belmont – 152
Eastern Kentucky (1 first-place vote) – 139
Southeast Missouri – 87
Morehead State – 77
Tennessee Tech – 76
Austin Peay – 53
Tennessee State - 25