Bulldog softball pegged fifth in GPAC preseason poll

By Jake Knabel on Jan. 10, 2019 in Softball

2019 GPAC preseason softball poll

SEWARD, Neb. – The expectations are for the Concordia University softball program to make a jump forward this spring. On Thursday (Jan. 10), the Bulldogs appeared at No. 5 in the 2019 GPAC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll with 71 points. The team will have a new head coach in Shawn Semler, who enters his 15th year as a head softball coach at the collegiate level.

Concordia experienced an up-and-down season in 2018 that saw it go 21-21 overall (seventh place in the GPAC) in Todd LaVelle’s fifth and final season leading the program. Bulldog softball has experienced championship success in the GPAC era having won regular-season titles in 2005 and 2008 and tournament trophies in 2007 and 2015.

Semler’s first Bulldog squad will include the reigning GPAC Player of the Year in sophomore third baseman Hhana Haro and fellow first team all-conference performer in sophomore center fielder MacKinsey Schmidt. A wealth of additional key contributors return such as the senior middle infield combo of Leah Kalkwarf at second base and Jamie Lefebure at shortstop. Meanwhile, sophomore Grace Bernhardt and senior Brittany Woolridge logged a combined 197 innings in the circle in 2018.

The season will open up earlier than what has been the norm for the program. The new campaign is set to get underway on Feb. 15 with a doubleheader at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.). The conference regular-season slate grows to 22 games this season with the addition of Jamestown (picked second in the GPAC). Concordia will also take another trip to Tucson, Ariz., over spring break. The complete schedule can be viewed HERE.

2019 GPAC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

*First-place votes in parentheses
1. Midland – 119 (9)
2. Jamestown – 104 (2)
3. Morningside – 97 (1)
4. Northwestern – 88
5. Concordia – 71
T6. Doane – 66
T6. Dordt – 66
8. Dakota Wesleyan – 57
9. Mount Marty – 47
10. Hastings – 37
11. College of Saint Mary – 27
12. Briar Cliff – 13