Southern Arkansas finished at No. 4 in the country in the final NFCA poll after a postseason run to the NCAA DII Women’s College Softball World Series in 2016.
The Muleriders will begin the 2017 season as the Great American Conference coaches’ favorites to finish at the top of the league.
SAU received seven of 12 first-place votes and 116 total points, just ahead of the 112 points received by Arkansas Tech, and are ranked No. 1 in the GAC preseason coaches’ poll.
Tech also grabbed four first-place votes, while Harding, third in the preseason ranking, picked up the remaining first-place vote.
The Muleriders return All-GAC performers in junior outfielder Brooke Goad, senior pitcher Kaylee Garner and senior utility player Maddie Dow.
Complete GAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll