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ENMU slotted 12th in softball poll

RICHARDSON, Texas – Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team, under second-year coach Amanda Fefel, was tabbed for 12th place in the 15-team Lone Star Conference race this season in a poll released earlier this week.

The Greyhounds went 18-30 last spring and finished in a three-way tie for 10th in the LSC, losing out on a postseason berth to St. Edward’s on a tiebreaker. ENMU brings back its top pitcher in senior right-hander Brook Leger, who finished second in the league last season with 169 strikeouts, and its top hitter in senior outfielder Azalea Martinez, who hit .315 with three home runs.

The Hounds open the campaign this weekend in the Lubbock Sports College Classic, hosted by Lubbock Christian. The Hounds will play five games in three days in the event, beginning on Friday when they take on Nebraska-Kearney and Newman.

Two-time defending champion Texas-Tyler received 550 points and 35 of 37 first-place votes in the poll, reflecting the opinions of LSC head coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives. The Patriots were 49-9 (26-4 LSC) in 2022, and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division II tournament.

Angelo State was second in the poll with 474 points while Texas A&M-Kingsville earned one first-place tally and came in third at 466. Oklahoma Christian received the other first-place vote, finishing fifth with 405 points to trail LCU (454).

ENMU finished with 181 points, ahead of Midwestern State (124), Texas-Permian Basin (123) and Western New Mexico (40).

Angelo State senior infielder Paxton Scheurer was tabbed the LSC preseason player of the year while Tyler left-hander Tatum Goff was the pitcher of the year.

The LSC also named 12 pitchers and 10 position players as players to watch. Representing ENMU on those lists were Leger and senior shortstop Jokaira Paredes.

The league will play a single-round-robin of three-game series beginning Feb. 17. The top 10 teams advance to the league tournament hosted by the regular-season champion, with the tourney winner earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division II tournament.

To see the preseason poll, go to http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com under “Local scoreboard – Jan. 29.”