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Valpo Tabbed Fourth in 2012 HL Preseason Poll
The Crusaders are picked fourth in the Horizon League. (Dave Schofield)
The Crusaders are picked fourth in the Horizon League. (Dave Schofield)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Valparaiso University softball team has been picked to finish in fourth place in the Horizon League standings for the 2012 season in preseason polling by the league’s head coaches.

Second-year head coach Jordan Stevens returns 15 letterwinners from the 2011 squad, including seven starting position players and both starting pitchers.  Among the returnees are three-time First Team All-League honoree Sara Strickland in the outfield and two-time All-League recipient Jordan Rutkowski, a First Team honoree last season behind the plate.  In all, five Crusaders who earned year-end accolades from the Horizon League in 2011 are back in 2012.

Valparaiso received 45 points in the polling, which awarded nine points for a first-place vote.  UIC picked up six first-place votes en route to 60 points and the top spot in the poll, while Butler pulled in 55 points, including two first-place votes.  Loyola received the last remaining first-place nod and tallied 48 points, while Wright State (36) and Cleveland State (33) followed the Crusaders.  Rounding out the polling were Green Bay (21), Youngstown State (18) and Detroit (8).

Valpo is set to open the 2012 campaign this weekend at the UNI Ramada Dome Tournament, beginning with a game against host UNI on Friday evening, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.

 

Team

Points (1st place votes)

1.

UIC

60 (6)

2.

Butler

55 (2)

3.

Loyola

48 (1)

4.

Valparaiso

45

5.

Wright State

36

6.

Cleveland State

33

7.

Green Bay

21

8.

Youngstown State

18

9.

Detroit

8