CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following a 26-10 effort and their fifth-straight trip to the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament in 2018, Denison softball was voted as the preseason favorite to win the NCAC in the 2019 season.
The Big Red finished with three of the nine first-place votes and totaled 74 points, while DePauw garnered four first-place votes, but landed one point shy of DU with 73. Wittenberg followed in third with 60 points and one first-place vote and Allegheny rounded out the top four with 52 points and the final top vote.
After finishing 13-3 in the conference last season, the Big Red return four All-NCAC performers in 2019, including first-team honoree Emilie Fisher. The Oregonia, Ohio native finished second on the team with a .377 batting average while adding 16 RBIs, 33 runs scored and a team-high 21 walks.
The DU offense will also return senior outfielder Laura Bagan who finished as a second-team All-NCAC selection in 2018 after batting .333 with 32 RBIs, six home runs and a career-high 14 doubles.
Head Coach Tiffany Ozbun, who returns for her 12th season in Granville, will also look to receive power from the bat of Amanda Howell after the senior was named third-team NFCA All-Region last season and hit .357 with 14 doubles, four home runs, and 36 RBIs.
In the circle, Colleen Hoffman will enter her senior season after enjoying a breakout year in 2018. The second-team All-NCAC selection tallied a 9-4 record with 52 strikeouts, a 3.21 ERA, and the first no-hitter of her career.
The Big Red will start their 2019 campaign on March 8-9 when they travel to Virginia Beach, Va. to take part in the 2019 Virginia Wesleyan Beach Blast. On March 8, Denison will play No. 11 Randolph-Macon at 2 p.m., followed by Hunter College at 4 p.m. DU will wrap up the weekend on Saturday, March 9 with William Peace at 12 p.m. and the defending national champions, No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan at 2 p.m.