SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State, which finished last season with a 27-19 overall record, was selected to finish second in the inaugural Big Sky Conference preseason coaches poll, it was announced today by the league.
Previously, five members of the Big Sky played softball, and with the addition of Southern Utah and North Dakota to the conference's lineup this year, the league will begin sponsoring softball this year. The Big Sky's code states that once six or more institutions field teams in a sport, the league will sponsor a championship. Softball is the first sport added to the Big Sky's lineup since the conference began sponsoring women's soccer in 1997.
The league consists of Sacramento State, Portland State, Northern Colorado, Idaho State, Weber State, North Dakota and Southern Utah. In addition, Montana plans to add softball in either 2014 or 2015. The winner of the Big Sky Championship (May 9-11) will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals. The three-day, double-elimination Big Sky Championship will be hosted by the conference's regular season champion.
Sacramento State, which spent the previous 10 years in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC), received 31 points and one first-place vote in the poll. The Hornets trailed Portland State (34 points, five first-place votes), and ranked ahead of Southern Utah (23 points, one first-place vote), Northern Colorado (20), Weber State (16), North Dakota (15) and Idaho State (8).
Sacramento State, along with Portland State, Northern Colorado, Weber State and Idaho State were all in the PCSC last season, and are making the move to the Big Sky this year.
The Hornets were selected to finish second despite losing seven positional starters from a season ago. Last year's squad went 27-19 overall and finished third in the PCSC's Coastal Division with a 10-9 record. Sacramento State returns 12 players from last year's roster, but will field new starters at catcher, first base, second base, shortstop, left field, right field and designated player in 2013.
Highlighting this year's roster are the two returning positional starters in senior third baseman and senior center fielder , as well as starting pitchers and . McCormick was a first team all-Big Sky selection after batting .340 with five home runs and 31 RBIs while Frye was a second team all-league choice after hitting .348 with 26 runs and 10 stolen bases. Stroud, who will be a junior, was 14-9 with a 2.55 ERA, and Brooks made a team-high 17 starts last season despite being a freshman.
Sacramento State begins the season in two weeks at the three-day Fresno State Kickoff on Feb. 8-10. The Hornets open the tournament against UTEP on Feb. 8 at 11:30 a.m., and will also take on Southern Miss, UC Riverside, UC Davis and Fresno State during the three-day event.
BIG SKY COACHES POLL
School - Points (First Place Votes)
1. Portland State - 34 (5)
2. Sacramento State - 31 (1)
3. Southern Utah - 23 (1)
4. Northern Colorado - 20
5. Weber State - 16
6. North Dakota - 15
7. Idaho State - 8
July 3, 2013 HORNETS EARN 29 SPRING BIG SKY All-ACADEMIC HONORS
June 20, 2013 SOFTBALL SIGNS BALL STATE TRANSFER SASHA MARGULIES
May 31, 2013 SOFTBALL CAMP REGISTRATION AVAILABLE
April 26, 2013 SOFTBALL GAINS DOUBLEHEADER SPLIT AT PORTLAND STATE
April 24, 2013 HUGE SERIES THIS WEEK FOR SOFTBALL AT PORTLAND STATE
April 5, 2013 SOFTBALL SPLITS DOUBLEHEADER AT SOUTHERN UTAH
March 27, 2013 SOFTBALL FALLS AT HOME TO SAN JOSE STATE, 5-2
March 26, 2013 SOFTBALL FALLS AT SAN JOSE STATE
March 19, 2013 BROOKS NAMED BIG SKY PITCHER OF THE WEEK FOR THE FOURTH TIME
March 13, 2013 SOFTBALL HOSTS 21ST-ANNUAL CAPITAL CLASSIC THIS WEEK
March 12, 2013 SOFTBALL’S BROOKS AND MARTIN RECEIVE BIG SKY WEEKLY HONORS
March 8, 2013 SOFTBALL WINS FIFTH STRAIGHT AFTER BEATING NEVADA, 9-7
March 5, 2013 HARTMAN NAMED BIG SKY CONFERENCE PITCHER OF THE WEEK
March 2, 2013 SOFTBALL IMPROVES TO 7-5 WITH SWEEP OF SANTA CLARA
February 27, 2013 SOFTBALL EARNS DOUBLEHEADER SPLIT WITH UC DAVIS
February 19, 2013 CAITLIN BROOKS NAMED BIG SKY PITCHER OF THE WEEK AGAIN
February 18, 2013 SOFTBALL’S GAME AT SAN JOSE STATE ON TUESDAY CANCELLED
February 16, 2013 SOFTBALL EARNS SPLIT OF DOUBLEHEADER AT SAINT MARY’S
February 12, 2013 PACIFIC SCORES THREE SEVENTH-INNING RUNS IN 3-0 WIN OVER SOFTBALL
February 11, 2013 SOFTBALL HOSTS PACIFIC ON TUESDAY AT 2:30 P.M. IN HOME OPENER
February 8, 2013 SOFTBALL WINS SEASON OPENER, TAKES DOWN UTEP, 3-2
February 7, 2013 2013 SOFTBALL MEDIA GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE
February 6, 2013 SOFTBALL WALLPAPER IMAGES NOW AVAILABLE
February 5, 2013 SOFTBALL - 2013 SEASON OUTLOOK
December 7, 2012 NAKKEN AND BLAIR BOTH RECIPIENTS OF NFCA SCHOLAR-ATHLETE ACCOLADES
November 14, 2012 SOFTBALL SIGNS NIKKI GIALKETSIS AND SHELBY JOHNSTON TO LETTERS OF INTENT
September 27, 2012 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? FORMER SOFTBALL PLAYER ANDREA BECKER
July 9, 2012 NAKKEN NAMED THE PCSC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR