Westfield, Mass. — Winner of the last two Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament Championships, Framingham State, was picked by the league's head coaches to add another conference title in 2019 based on the MASCAC Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Rams earned five of a possible eight first place votes in the poll, to secure 47 points.
Framingham went 10-4 in conference play last year and served as the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Sophomore Grace Caughey is back after an All-Conference worthy performance in 2018. The Rams slugger batted .368 with three home runs and 33 RBI. She was also strong in the circle with six wins.
2018 MASCAC Regular-Season Champion Worcester State comes in at No. 2 in the preseason rankings. The Lancers earned 39 points, including a first place vote. They went 12-2 in league play last year and will turn to Kaiulani Ennis, a 2018 First Team All-Conference player, to power the offense. Ennis was fourth in the league in slugging percentage (.705), third in runs scored (36), and third in home runs (7).
Westfield State and Bridgewater State tied for the third spot in the poll with each school gathering 37 points and a first place vote. The Owls were the MASCAC Tournament runner up last year after going 10-5 during the regular season and earning the No. 3 seed. Caitlin Huhges will try best her All-MASCAC First Team effort this year after scoring 26 runs (9th) and driving in 24 (13th) a season ago. Bridgewater went 9-5 in league play in 2018 and will be aided this year by returning All-Conference First Teamer Shannon Grindle. Grindle was one of the league's premiere power bats as she batted .404 (5th) with a league leading nine home runs and 34 (4th) RBI. She was also second in the conference in slugging (.750).
Landing in the fifth spot in the poll is Salem State, owner of a 7-7 conference record last season. The Vikings earned 23 points in the poll. Their top returning bat is Chloe Manousos who batted .350 in 2018 with 24 RBI. She led the team in slugging percentage with a .530 average. Fitchburg State earned 21 point in the poll to land in the No. 6 spot after going 6-9 in league play. The Falcons will be led in the circle by sophomore Taylor Colvin who was second in the league in strikeouts (52) during her rookie season.
MCLA and Massachusetts Maritime closed out the poll with 13 and 7 points, respectively. The Trailblazers' top returner is Kaylyn Holliday who batted .337 with the team lead in runs (15), home runs (3), and RBI (15). The Buccaneers are led by Jill Corazzini who batted a team-best .347 a year ago.
The MASCAC softball schedule begins on Saturday, March 9 with teams on their spring break trips for nonconference play