CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Simpson softball team racked up 31 votes to tie for fifth in the American Rivers Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the conference on Wednesday.
The Storm and third-year head coach Brent Matthias return some key contributors from a year ago and bring in a lot of youth. Second-Team All-IIAC pitcher Emily Bell and Honorable Mention All-IIAC catcher Ashley Allen highlight the mix of returners coming back. The team finished last season tied for fifth place after a 21-16 overall record and 7-9 conference record.
Simpson's season-opener is slated for Friday, March 8 in Clermont, Fla. for the PFX Spring Games. The Storm will play 16 games in nine days while in the Sunshine State.
To view the release from the American Rivers Conference website, click here.
A-R-C PRESEASON COACHES' POLL (first place votes)
1. Luther, 52 (3); 2. Coe, 58 (4); 3. Central 50; 4. Nebraska Wesleyan 35; t-5. Simpson, 31; t-5. Buena Vista, 31; 7. Loras, 30; 8. Wartburg, 19; 9. Dubuque, 8.
The 2015 Iowa Conference softball schedule gets underway Tuesday, March 31 as all eight schools take to the diamond to open their 14-game league slates. Schools will play a doubleheader against each Iowa Conference opponent.
The 2019 American Rivers Conference schedule will open up on Saturday, March 30 with eight of the nine schools in action to begin their 16-game league slate. Schools play a doubleheader versus each American Rivers opponent as Central travels to Simpson.
The 2019 American Rivers Conference Tournament will be held May 3-4 with the tournament's top seed serving as host. The tournament is a single-elimination format, consisting of six schools. The top two seeds from the regular season standings will receive first-round byes and it will be in single elimination format. The two opening-round games are played on Friday with semifinals and the final on Saturday.
NFCA PRESEASON POLLS
The American Rivers Conference is well represented in the NFCA Division III preseason poll. Luther opens up 2019 ranked 10th, Coe is No. 19 and Central is No. 22.