Thursday, February 1, 2018

Huskies Softball Picked to Win Central Division in 2018 PSAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

(Photo courtesy of Bloomsburg University Sports Information)
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University softball team was picked to win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Central division in the 2018 preseason Coaches' Poll, the conference released today. To view the league's full release, click here.
In the Central division, Bloomsburg was picked ahead of Lock Haven, but both teams each received three first-place votes. IUP was picked third, followed by Mansfield, Pitt-Johnstown and Clarion. In the East, West Chester took first place with three votes, while Kutztown was second and Shippensburg was third each with one vote. East Stroudsburg and Millersville tied for fourth in the division. Seton Hill was voted first in the west with one vote, while Slippery Rock landed second also with one vote. Gannon was picked third with two votes, while California (Pa.) also received two votes and was picked fourth. Edinboro was picked fifth, while Mercyhurst rounded out the poll in sixth.

This is the third straight year that the Huskies were voted to win the Central division, and the fourth straight year they have sat atop the PSAC preseason Coaches' Poll in their respective division.

In 2017, Bloomsburg finished with a record of 31-20 including a 16-4 mark in the PSAC. The Huskies were one of three league teams besides eventual league-champion West Chester (48-13, 13-3 PSAC) and Kutztown (31-17, 13-3 PSAC) to win at least 30 games last season. Bloomsburg battled its way through the PSAC tournament, reaching the title game before falling to West Chester 6-0. Moving on to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional tournament, the Huskies dropped their first two games to Kutztown (2-1) and Charleston (5-3). Bloomsburg boasted four All-PSAC selections in Taylor Parker (Dewart, Pa./Warrior Run)Mallory Tomaschik (Catawissa, Pa./Southern Columbia)Emily Mayhew (Perkasie, Pa./Pennridge) and Taylor Winkelman(Springfield, Pa/Springfield). Parker was tabbed the division's Athlete of the Year, while Tomaschik was named Pitcher of the year in the Central. Mayhew and Winkelman were both selected all-conference in the outfield.

Led by their two returning all-conference selections in Mayhew and Winkelman, the Huskies are poised for another deep run into the post-season. Mayhew batted .325 with 52 hits and 20 RBI in 2017, and she also smacked 12 doubles. Winkelman knocked hit her way to a team-high (among those qualified) .353 average with 59 hits including 12 doubles and two home runs. She knocked in 20 runs and also scored a team-high 39 runs, which was tied for third individually in the PSAC. BU head coach Susan Kocher is just 20 wins away from 250 for her career, while the Huskies have advanced to the NCAA tournament in six of Kocher's seven seasons. Bloomsburg has also finished at least nine games above .500 in 38 straight seasons.

The Huskies open the season at the Coker College spring tournament in Hartsville, S.C. on Feb. 24 and 25. In their four games, they will take on Lees-McRae, Shepherd, Charleston and Fairmont State. First pitch that Saturday (Feb. 24) against Lees-McRae is set for 10:00 a.m. 

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