INDIANAPOLIS -- The Oakland softball team was projected to finish fifth in the 2018 Horizon League Softball Preseason Poll, as announced by the league office on Wednesday and voted on by the league's nine head coaches. The Golden Grizzlies received 41 points while UIC was picked to finish first with 81 points and nine first place votes.
The Golden Grizzlies open the season against Florida Atlantic and Marshall at the MS National Pediatric Cancer Foundation Invite (Feb. 16) and have non-conference doubleheaders against instate rivals Central Michigan (April 17) and Eastern Michigan (May 2) in addition to Toledo (March 27).
Oakland returns all-league selections Jamie Squires and Mikayela Marciniak plus Kelsie Swanson who started in all 46 games in right field. Squires comes off the 2017 season having snagged the Horizon League Co-Freshman of the Year title as she set program single-season marks ranking eighth in slugging percentage (.608) and 10th in on-base percentage (.432).
Lauren Cognigni, entering her first season as head coach, looks to build off the Golden Grizzlies previous 20-win season that landed them a spot in the Horizon League Tournament for the second time in three seasons.