MANSFIELD, Mass. – After a historic run to the 2018 NCAA Division II Softball Championship this past spring, the Saint Anselm College softball team was selected by the coaches of the Northeast-10 Conference to win the Northeast Division, as the NE10 Preseason Coaches' Poll was announced on Tuesday.
LINK: NE10 Release
Under the guidance of sixth-year head coach Jill Gagnon, the Hawks posted a 44-13-1 mark in 2018 which was the school record for wins in a single season. Saint Anselm finished last year ranked No. 2 in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Coaches Poll, the highest ranking of any program on the Hilltop, after winning the NCAA Super Regional and advancing to the national finals during the 2018 campaign.
The Hawks earned the top spot in the division with 108 points and received 11 of the 15 first place votes. Adelphi was selected to win the Southwest Division with 88 points, receiving four first-place votes.
Following Saint Anselm in the Northeast Division with 98 points was Southern New Hampshire, followed by Merrimack. Assumption rounded out the top-four teams with 70 points. Stonehill and Franklin Pierce were tied for sixth with 38 points with Bentley following in seventh place with 58 points. Saint Michael's rounded out the Northeast Division with 33 points.
Following Adelphi in the Southwest Division was Pace with 83 overall points and seven first place votes. New Haven came in third with 77 points and a trio of first place votes while Le Moyne rounded out the top-four of the division with 70 points and a single first place vote. Southern Connecticut State was selected to finish fifth in the division with 39 points while Saint Rose came in five points behind them in sixth. American International rounded out the division with 23 points.
Saint Anselm's schedule includes a rematch of last season's NCAA Division II Championship Final against Southern Indiana during the team's trip to Florida. That game is set for Wednesday, Mar. 6 in Clermont, Fla. The 2019 schedule also features six other teams that made it to at least the NCAA Regionals: Gannon, Lock Haven, LIU Post, Merrimack, Missouri-St. Louis, and Southern New Hampshire.
The Hawks will begin the 2019 season in Myrtle Beach, S.C. for six games. The first game is scheduled for 10 a.m. against Kutztown on Friday, Feb. 15.