LANCASTER, Pa. – Haverford has been voted as the favorite to hoist the conference trophy in the 2020 Centennial Conference Softball Preseason Poll. The Fords collected seven of a possible nine first-place votes and totaled 63 points to land atop the annual voting among conference head coaches.
Swarthmore finished second in the poll with 48 points, while Ursinus (44) and defending-champion Dickinson (41) each received one first-place nod and placed third and fourth, respectively.
McDaniel was chosen to finish fifth with 36 points, with Gettysburg (33), Franklin & Marshall (27), Washington College (18) and Muhlenberg (14) rounding out the poll.
The 2020 season begins this weekend for a pair of CC squads, with most teams set to open competition in early March. Conference play is slated to begin on Saturday, March 28. The top four teams will advance to the Centennial Tournament, which will take place on April 28 and May 1-2.
Dickinson captured the 2019 Centennial Conference Championship, holding off Haverford 1-0 in the championship game. The title marked the second in program history, with the other occuring in 2010. The Red Devils became the sixth CC team with multiple championships to their name, joining McDaniel (7), Muhlenberg (5), Ursinus (5), Gettysburg (4), and Haverford (3) as programs with more than one conference title.
Dickinson went on to represent the Centennial in the NCAA Tournament, posting a 1-2 record in the regional to conclude the year at 25-17.
A total of 25 players who have received All-Centennial awards throughout their careers will step foot on the diamond this spring, including at least one from all nine teams. Haverford leads the way with five returning all-stars, including junior third baseman Emma Souter, the reigning Player of the Year. Senior pitcher Temma Levis and junior outfielder Nicole Swisher were also first-team selections last spring, while senior first baseman Marybeth Stone and senior outfielder Ashley Sisto were second-team selections for the Fords in 2019.
Ursinus welcomes back four All-CC selections - junior catcher Amanda Ladzinksi, sophomore DP Mackenzie Brennan, sophomore pitcher Kayla McTamney, and junior outfielder Morgan Comfort.
McDaniel, Swarthmore and Gettysburg each return a trio of all-conference performers. Sophomore catcher Megan Horsey, junior outfielder Michaela Persinger, and junior pitcher Cassie Rickrode are back for the Green Terror, sophomore utility Gwen Glatz (2019 Rookie of the Year), junior pitcher Maddie Bowe, and senior first baseman Kalli Segel return for the Garnet, and senior second baseman Rachel Julie, senior third baseman Sarahrose Jonik, and junior catcher Shelby Baker are back in the lineup for the Bullets.
Dickinson, F&M and Washington College each bring back a pair of all-stars this season, while Muhlenberg welcomes back one All-CC selection. For the defending-champion Red Devils, junior outfielder Kirsten Acocella and junior shortstop Brigitte Gutpelet are all-star holdovers from last year's CC championship squad. Sophomore first baseman Abi Buell and senior third baseman Lexi Piccinich return for the Diplomats, while sophomore shortstop Megan Robbins and senior outfielder Rachel Butler are back for the Shorewomen. Sophomore catcher Genna Cicchetti, the 2019 Gold Glove of the Year, is back behind the plate for the Mules.
2020 Centennial Conference Softball Preseason Poll
|Rank | Institution (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Haverford (7)||63|
|3. Ursinus (1)||44|
|4. Dickinson (1)||41|
|7. Franklin & Marshall||27|
|8. Washington College||18|