ATHENS. Ohio– The reigning Mid-American Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion Ohio softball team has been selected third in the 2019 MAC Softball Preseason Poll, the leagues announced today (Fab. 6). The poll was voted on by the league's 11 head coaches.
In the first season without the east and west divisions, the Bobcats earned 80 votes and one first place vote to repeat as regular season champions. Finishing ahead of Ohio is Ball State who was selected as this year's favorite with 105 votes and six first place votes, followed by Kent State with 93 votes and two first place picks.
Selected behind Ohio is Western Michigan (69), Northern Illinois (66). Miami (65), Central Michigan (62), Bowling Green (43), Toledo (42), Akron (18) and Buffalo (17).
Ball State was also selected to take home the 2019 MAC Tournament crown, earning seven votes. Kent State, Ohio and Bowling Green all received one vote to win the tournament.
Ohio is coming off of 2018 season in which the Bobcats went 40-17 and 20-3 in MAC play, capturing the regular season title for the first time since 1995 and winning the 2018 MAC Tournament for the first time since 2014. The Bobcats also earned the program's first ever NCAA victories, advancing to the 2018 Knoxville Regional finals.
The Bobcats, under first year head coach Kenzie Roark, get their season underway Feb. 8-10 at the 2019 Phyllis Rafter Memorial hosted by Kennesaw State in Kennesaw, Ga. While there, the Bobcats will take on Eastern Illinois, Chattanooga, Morehead State and Kennesaw State.