LaVelle's squad picked second in GPAC preseason poll

By Jake Knabel on Jan. 18, 2018 in Softball

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – Based on preseason projections, the 2018 Concordia University softball team is expected to contend for a conference regular-season title. Fifth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad checked in second in the GPAC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Thursday (Jan. 18) by the conference. Concordia also received votes in the preseason national poll unveiled on Tuesday (Jan. 16). The Bulldogs were pegged third in the GPAC preseason poll in 2017.

In terms of overall victories, the 2017 team was the most successful since LaVelle became head coach prior to the 2014 season. Last year’s group went 34-14 overall and placed in a tie for second in the conference regular-season standings. Concordia hopes for a return to the national tournament, where it landed in 2014 and 2015. The 2015 squad won the GPAC tournament title.

The ’18 edition of Bulldog softball will have junior second baseman Leah Kalkwarf to build around. LaVelle also expects a lot out of the newcomers, who will have to help replace all-conference players like Kylie Harpst, Autumn Owens, Megan Ruppert and Michaela Woodward. Kalkwarf and fellow middle infielder Jamie Lefebure are the team’s most experienced players.

The 2018 season is scheduled to get underway on Feb. 17 with a trip to Hillsboro, Kan., for a doubleheader with Tabor College. The team’s first home appearance is slated for March 13 when a doubleheader with the University of Saint Mary (Kan.) is scheduled.

2018 GPAC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Morningside – 72 (7)
2. Concordia – 68
3. Hastings – 66 (2)
4. Dordt – 55 (1)
5. Midland – 49 (1)
T6. Northwestern – 42
T6. Dakota Wesleyan – 42
T8. College of Saint Mary – 38
T8. Doane – 38
10. Mount Marty – 16
11. Briar Cliff – 9