Dakota Wesleyan softball picked to finish bottom of GPAC in preseason poll

The Tigers got 19 points, placing them behind Hastings and Briar Cliff. Defending regular-season champion Midland was tabbed to repeat, receiving 119 points and 10 first-place votes.

Dakota Wesleyan's Peyton Bagley (1) slides safely into third base during a softball doubleheader against Hastings College on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at McWhirter Field.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Dakota Wesleyan University's softball team was picked last among 12 programs in the Great Plains Athletic Conference preseason poll released Thursday.

Ahead of the first season under head coach Tommy Downs, the Tigers got 19 points in the poll, placing them behind 11th place Hastings (32) and 10th place Briar Cliff (37). In 2022, DWU was 15-29 overall and 7-15 in GPAC play, which landed them in 10th place, ahead of Hastings and Doane. The poll is a survey of the conference's head coaches. Points were awarded on an 11 (first place) to 1 (last place) basis and coaches could not vote for their own team.

Defending regular-season champion Midland was tabbed to repeat, receiving 119 points and 10 first-place votes, with Northwestern the top challenger at 102 points and the other two first-place votes. Morningside (93) was picked to finish third ahead of a cluster that includes Jamestown (80), Mount Marty (78) and Dordt (73). Completing the rankings at No. 7-9 were Doane (58), Concordia (53) and the College of Saint Mary (48).

The top-eight teams in the standings at the conclusion of the regular season qualify for the GPAC postseason tournament.

DWU's season begins Feb. 4-5 in Minot, North Dakota, for three games against three separate opponents. In all, the Tigers have 19 games on the schedule away from home before hosting a doubleheader against Northwestern on March 22.

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