Softball Earns Top Ranking in Pre-Season Poll

The U softball team was once again picked to win the Mountain West Conference in a league coaches poll in Colorado Springs, Colo.

It is the third straight season the Utes have been picked to win the conference.

Utah just edged BYU for the No. 1 spot, receiving 21 points to BYU’s 20. The U got two first place votes while the Cougars received three.

Utah head coach Mona Stevens was excited to see her program atop the conference for another season.

“I think getting selected to win the MWC title is a tribute to our program and a very nice honor,” she said. “It will be a tough conference race this season, and we’ve got a good shot at it.”

The Utes are coming off a second place finish last season and a 37-25-1 record, with an 11-8-1 conference record. BYU went on to win the MWC title in only its second year of existence.

Nine letterwinners and seven starters are returning for the Utes, including senior Lyndsey Trevis, last year’s MWC Player of the Year. The third baseman does everything for the Utes. She led the team with a .387 batting average, had a .628 slugging percentage and hit 12 home runs.

First baseman and left fielder Niki Hayhurst also returns for the Utes. Both Hayhurst and Trevis were named to last year’s first team All-West Regional squad. Hayhurst is also a power hitter, as she knocked 14 balls over the fence last year. She had a .617 slugging percentage and was also named to the MWC All-Academic team.

“We’ve got some very good talent this season and hope to make a run for it all,” Stevens said.

Sand Diego State finished third on the poll, followed by New Mexico, UNLV and Colorado State.

“San Diego State and New Mexico will be tough to beat. They’re going to be a surprise to some people this season,” Stevens added.

The Utes begin play in February in Texas. Their first home game isn’t until March 9, when they host Arizona.

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