INDIANAPOLIS — The Wright State softball team has been picked second as the 2017 Horizon League preseason poll was released Wednesday by the league office. Voting was done by the nine head coaches in the league.
The Raiders, who finished second in the regular-season standings last season and advanced to the championship game of the league tournament before falling in extra innings, received 55 points and one first-place vote while the University of Illinois Chicago, last year’s regular-season champion, was selected as the preseason favorite with seven first-place votes and 62 points.
Valparaiso was chosen third, followed by Youngstown State, Oakland, Cleveland State, Green Bay, Detroit Mercy and Northern Kentucky.
WSU has 16 players returning from last season, including 2016 Horizon League First Team selections in junior pitcher Ashley Sharp, junior outfielder Honnah Susor and senior shortstop Becka Peterson. Senior catcher Vivi Marquez, a Horizon League Second Team honoree in 2016, also returns along with senior second baseman Libby Pfeffer and junior outfielder Macey Gunther, who were chosen to the league’s All-Tournament Team with Sharp and Marquez.
Wright State kicks off the 2017 campaign at the Hilton Plaza Invitational Feb. 10-12 in Houston, with the Raiders facing Wichita State in the season opener on Feb. 10. WSU will also take on host Houston, Boston College and UC Santa Barbara during the tournament.
The home opener for the Raiders will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, as Wright State hosts crosstown rival Dayton in a single game.