Arkansas softball picked to finish 7th by SEC coaches

By: Seth Campbell
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Arkansas coach Courtney Deifel talks to players during a game against Auburn on Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas coach Courtney Deifel talks to players during a game against Auburn on Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas softball team was picked to finish seventh out of 13 teams in the SEC in the preseason coaches poll.

Head coach Courtney Deifel's team was picked one position ahead of where it finished last year. The Razorbacks are looking to improve on a 38-20 season that saw a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Arkansas returns five players who started at least 50 games last year, including All-SEC first team selection Hannah McEwen. 

McEwen, a junior outfielder from San Diego, led the team with a .386 batting average last year, which was fifth best in the conference. She paired that average with 43 runs scored and 26 RBI.

The Razorbacks also return senior Autumn Storms and junior Mary Haff. The pair combined to start every game in the circle last season.

Storms garnered national recognition, earning a spot on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American team with a 20-9 record and 1.63 ERA in 2019.

The Razorbacks' season begins Feb. 7 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, against UTEP and Bradley. Arkansas' first home game will be Feb. 20 against Boston University.  

Defending regular-season champion Alabama was picked to win the conference by the league's coaches. The Crimson Tide received 11 first-place votes. Tennessee was second and picked up the other two first-place votes.

Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team. 

Preseason SEC softball coaches poll

Alabama 143 (11)

Tennessee 129 (2)

LSU 117

Kentucky 101

Florida 92

Georgia 84

Arkansas 80

Ole Miss 62

South Carolina 56

Missouri 54

Auburn 52

Mississippi State 22 

Texas A&M 22

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