FRISCO – The Sam Houston State Bearkat softball team was picked seventh in the league’s annual preseason poll and junior pitcher Lindsey McLeod was voted as a preseason second team all-SLC choice in an announcement from league officials on Tuesday.
For the second straight season McNeese was a unanimous selection to finish first in the league standings, holding that spot as they prepare to go after their third consecutive league title. The Cowgirls, along with Nicholls and Abilene Christian, led all teams with five selections to the preseason all-conference team.
Meanwhile the Kats received 126 votes in the poll, eight behind Northwestern State and 19 behind Central Arkansas. ACU received the only two available first-place votes aside from McNeese and with 205 total votes came in a tie with Nicholls for second. Lamar also received 190 votes in being picked to finish fourth.
McLeod earned her spot on the second team after a sophomore campaign that saw her earn all-SLC honorable mention honors. The Austin native tossed 124.1 innings in 33 total appearances a year ago, punching out 110 batters with 49 walks while posting a 3.27 ERA.
Her totals ranked her 12th in the league in ERA, while her opposing batting average of .206 was the second best among all Southland arms. Her strikeout total also ranked her ninth in the league.
McLeod is one of 10 returning letter winners from a club that went 24-27 a year ago and advanced to the third round of the Southland Conference Tournament.
Sam Houston will kick off its 2018 campaign on Feb. 8 at Texas State in the opener of the 2018 Bobcat Classic. They will also take on Portland State and nationally-ranked Florida State in the five-game event that weekend.
The Kats will then return home for a big kickoff weekend at the Bearkat Softball Complex when they host the Bearkat Softball Classic presented by Holiday Inn Express and University Hotel. Sam Houston will welcome Seton Hall, Northern Colorado, Wichita State and nationally-ranked Washington to Huntsville in the event that spans Friday, Feb. 16 to Sunday, Feb. 18.