Jan. 27, 2010
By Beth Miller
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Southern Illinois University softball team was picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll, the league announced Wednesday.
Garza led the Salukis last season with a .375 batting average and 35 RBI. Held was second on the team with a .356 batting average, posting a team-high 27 runs and 11 doubles. SIU's lone returning pitcher, Glosson, recorded a 2.70 ERA in 25 appearances last season, ranking eighth in the Valley with 117 strikeouts.
This marks the fifth consecutive year SIU has been picked to finish in the top three of the MVC. Southern received 85 points and one first-place vote.
Creighton was picked to finish first in the Valley for the fourth-straight year, after winning the 2009 MVC regular-season title. The Bluejays received 97 points and eight of the 10 first-place votes.
Northern Iowa was picked third, receiving 77 points, while Drake earned 71 points and one first place vote for a fourth place selection. Illinois State (66) was chosen fifth and Wichita State (47) was picked to finish in sixth place. Missouri State's 36 points earned them a seventh place selection, with Bradley close behind in eighth with 33 points. Indiana State (21) and Evansville (17) round out the final two spots on the preseason poll.
The Salukis will begin the 2010 season Feb. 12 at the Combat Classic in Miami, Fla.
2010 MVC Preseason Poll (1st place) Pts
1. Creighton (8) 97
2. Southern Illinois (1) 85
3. Northern Iowa 77
4. Drake (1) 71
5. Illinois State 66
6. Wichita State 47
7. Missouri State 36
8. Bradley 33
9. Indiana State 21
10. Evansville 17
2010 MVC Preseason All-Conference Team
1b Renae Sinkler, Creighton
2b Alicia Garza, Southern Illinois
3b Abby Olson, Illinois State
SS Mackenzie Daigh, UNI
C Heather Gerritse, Wichita State
DP-P Jen Larsen, UNI
DP-U Jacqueline Vitale, Bradley
OF Rachel Gerking, UNI
OF Megan Machovec, UNI
OF Chelsea Held, Southern Illinois
P Tara Oltman, Creighton
P Danielle Glosson, Southern Illinois