The Calvin softball team is the unanimous choice to win the 2019 MIAA regular season crown. The Knights received all eight possible votes in the MIAA preseason coaches' poll released today. Trine received the other first place vote. Coaches could not vote for their own team.
Under the direction of third year head coach Becky Hilgert, the Knights return 13 letterwinners from a team that finished 32-10 a year ago setting a Calvin single-season record for victories. Calvin finished second in the 2018 MIAA regular season with a 12-4 conference record. The Knights also advanced to the MIAA Tournament and NCAA III Tournament lat spring, bowing out in the regional final to rival Hope.
Calvin will be led this year by tri-captains Maddie DeGroot (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) and Anna Gernant (West Des Moines, Ia./Valley HS) and Abi Colon (Caledonia, Mich./South Christian HS). A senior infielder, DeGroot was a member of the All-MIAA First Team and NFCA All-Central Region Third Team last spring. A senior pitcher, Gernant was a member of the All-MIAA First Team and NFCA All-Central Region First Team in 2018.
Calvin is scheduled to open its season on March 1 when it travels to Greenville University (Il.) for a non-conference doubleheader. Calvin is slated to open its conference schedule on March 28 when it travels to Alma for a doubleheader.
Go below for links to a preseason audio interview with head coach Becky Hilgert:
Calvin Softball Preseason Audio Interview Part One / Calvin Softball Preseason Audio Interview Part Two / Calvin Softball Preseason Audio Interview Part Three
2019 MIAA SOFTBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1. Calvin - 64 points (8 first-place votes)
2. Trine - 52 points (1 first-place vote)
3. Hope - 48 points
4. Alma - 44 points
5. Saint Mary's - 34 points
T6. Olivet - 29 points
T6. Adrian - 29 points
8. Kalamazoo - 14 points
9. Albion - 10 points