by Drury Athletics
The Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason coaches’ poll picked the Drury softball team to finish 11th in the 2019 season the league announced today.
Defending NCAA-II national champion Southern Indiana is picked first in the poll. Last year, the Screaming Eagles went 41-23, 15-13 in the conference, and finished in sixth place in the GLVC but won the league tournament before going on to win the NCAA-II tournament. Illinois Springfield, last year’s regular season champ that finished 40-19 and 22-6 in the conference, is picked second while McKendree (38-18, 20-8) was selected to come in third.
The Panthers will go into the 2019 season with head coach Jerry Breaux entering his second year guiding the program. Breaux led Drury to a 20-24 record last year, a 13-game improvement from 2017, and an 11-17 mark in the GLVC. The Panthers return first team all-conference outfielder Jacy Ummel in addition to nine other letter winners. Ummel hit .381 with one home run, and 25 runs batted in last year. Breaux will start his 26th season as a collegiate head coach in 2019 and owns a career record of 759-432-2.
Drury opens the year on Feb. 2-3 at the Ouachita Baptist Tournament with games against Southwest Baptist, Univ. of Texas-Tyler, Christian Brothers, and Ouachita Baptist. The Panthers start their home schedule on Feb. 23 with a doubleheader against Pittsburg State at Thompson Field.