The McNeese softball team will enter the 2019 season with something to prove.
Despite being the reigning Southland Conference Tournament champs, McNeese was picked to finish second in the 2019 preseason poll behind Nicholls, according to McNeeseSports.com.
Nicholls won the Southland Conference regular season championship in 2018. McNeese went 41-21 en route to a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the sixth appearance in program history.
Nicholls earned 18 first place votes, followed by six for McNeese.
— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) January 30, 2019
James Landreneau is entering his third season as the coach at McNeese. Landreneau is 84-39 in his first two seasons.
McNeese has won the Southland Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Regionals the last three years, which is equal to the totals in both that they had prior to this span.
McNeese returns four starters and will replace five starters. McNeese will interject nine new players into the roster.
Three McNeese players enter the season as members of the 2019 Southland Conference Preseason team, according to McNeeseSports.com.
Senior outfielder Justyce McClain and junior infielder Alexandria Saldivar were selected to the first team.
McClain posted a .417 batting average (third in the nation) along with 61 runs, and 85 hits. McClain was sixth in on base percent as well as seventh in stolen bases and runs per game nationally.
As a designated hitter, Saldivar batted .297 with a .469 slugging average plus 43 hits, six home run, seven doubles and 39 RBI.
Junior pitcher Alexsandra Flores was picked for the second team. Flores led McNeese with 19 wins, 3.02 ERA, 176 innings pitched, and 92 strikeouts to go with 15 complete games plus four shutouts.
✅ Intrasquad Scrimmage
— McNeese Softball (@McNeeseSoftball) January 28, 2019
McNeese begins the season on Feb. 7 against Samford to begin the Cowgirl Classic concludes on Feb. 10. McNeese will get a shot at preseason favorite Nicholls in a home series on April 19-20.