Grand View University issued the following announcement on Jan. 16.
The Grand View softball programs open the 2019 season ranked No. 21 in the NAIA softball coaches' preseason poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Vikings were also chosen to finish second in the Heart Conference behind Central Methodist University.
The Vikings return first team all-conference players, Lexi Merritt (JR/Waukee, IA) and Kaylee Watson (SO/Stockport, IA) along with Lauren Poortinga (SR/Des Moines, IA), Libby Yenger (SR/Indianola, IA) and Maddie Thilges (JR/Johnston, IA) who also received All-Conference honors. The Vikings lose four-time All-American and four-time conference pitcher of the year Claudia Farrell, but she will return to the 2019 season as a pitching coach for the Vikings.
Grand View softball ended their 2018 season after falling to two-time defending national champions Oklahoma City University 3-0 in the 2018 NAIA Softball Championship Opening Round Oklahoma City Bracket. The Vikings did not end their season without setting new records and becoming the best team to pass through Grand View softball. The Vikings ended the season with a 48-10 record, claiming both the 2018 Heart of America Regular Season and Tournament titles. They are also the first time to win more than one game in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round Bracket.
Grand View starts off their 2019 campaign February 15th, on the road to Oklahoma Wesleyan University at Bartlesville, OK. Conference play begins at the end of February as they take on Benedictine College, at Atchison, KS.
2019 Season Schedule | 2019 stats
2019 NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll
|RANK||2018 POSTSEASON||SCHOOL [1ST-PLACE VOTES]||2018 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||4||Oklahoma City ||53-9||521|
|2||1||Science & Arts (Okla.)||57-5||495|
|4||2||Columbia (Mo.) ||37-16||482|
|5||5||Georgia Gwinnett ||53-6||472|
|6||6||Marian (Ind.) ||51-7||456|
|9||12||Hope International (Calif.)||47-11||372|
|13||19||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||40-16||323|
|15||15||St. Francis (Ill.)||41-9||277|
|17||22||William Carey (Miss.)||38-16||264|
|18||21||Central Methodist (Mo.)||43-11||258|
|21||16||Grand View (Iowa)||48-10||179|
|25||RV||Valley City State (N.D.)||39-12||94|
RECEIVING VOTES: Baker (Kan.) 80, Rio Grande (Ohio) 74, Simpson (Calif.) 62, USC Beaufort (S.C.) 31, Brenau (Ga.) 30, Georgetown (Ky.) 30, Houston-Victoria (Texas) 22, Aquinas (Mich.) 20, Tabor (Kan.) 19, Morningside (Iowa) 17, Thomas (Ga.) 14, Texas Wesleyan 13, Lyon (Ark.) 9, Taylor (Ind.) 5, Eastern Oregon 4, Ottawa (Kan.) 3, Bellevue (Neb.) 3, Carroll (Mont.) 3