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Belles Tabbed Fourth in MIAA Preseason Poll

Members of the softball team huddle together prior to the start of an inning.
FREELAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team was voted fourth in the annual Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) preseason poll, as voted upon by conference coaches.
Trine, who is ranked No. 4 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Preseason Top 25 poll, was voted as the league favorite in 2020 after garnering 63 points and seven first-place votes. Calvin was in the second spot with 57 points and a first-place vote while Hope was third with 51 points and a first-place vote. Saint Mary's was fourth with 42 points.
The Belles return ten players from a squad which made the MIAA Tournament championship round in 2019. Second Team All-MIAA honoree Kelsey Keilman is one of three seniors leading the squad this spring, and she is rejoined by Alyssa Gutierrez and Alison Alberts as the Belles have their sights set on another successful campaign in 2020. Each of the three competed in more than half of the team's contests last spring. Also returning are pitchers Mandi Hettinger and Hailey Hisaw. The sophomore tandem combined to throw more than 145 innings in the circle last season and combined for just 19 walks over that span.
"We are very pleased and humbled by our placement in the MIAA preseason poll," said head coach Kelli Zache Martin. "Our team is working hard, and we are very eager for the upcoming 2020 season. This fourth place ranking will give us motivation and a goal to shoot for this season."
Saint Mary's opens the conference portion of their schedule on Saturday, March 28 when they host Trine for a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m.
2020 MIAA Softball Preseason Poll
1. Trine - 63 points (7 first-place votes)
2. Calvin - 57 points (1)
3. Hope - 51 points (1)
4. Saint Mary's - 42 points
5. Alma - 37 points
6. Olivet - 25 points
7. Adrian - 22 points
8. Kalamazoo - 17 points
9. Albion - 10 points