Written By: WAC Media Relations

DENVER, CO - Grand Canyon and NM State are the preseason favorites to win the 2017 Western Athletic Conference softball title in a vote of the league’s six head coaches, who could not vote for their own team.

The coaches also voted preseason award winners and NM State’s Kelsey Horton was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year and Grand Canyon’s Taylor Nowlin was selected as the Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

The Lopes and Aggies tied for the top spot in the preseason poll with 23 points and three first-place votes each. CSU Bakersfield and Seattle U tied for third place with 13 points apiece. UMKC was fifth with 11 points, while Utah Valley rounded out the poll in sixth place with seven points.

NM State placed the most players on the Preseason All-WAC team with four, while Grand Canyon had three and UMKC and Utah Valley had two apiece.

The 2017 season begins Friday, Feb. 10. The 2017 WAC Softball Tournament will be held May 11-13, at the NM State Softball Complex in Las Cruces, N.M., and will include all five eligible teams.

2017 WAC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Rank Teams (1st-Place Votes) Points
T-1. Grand Canyon (3) 23
T-1. NM State (3) 23
T-3. CSU Bakersfield 13
T-3. Seattle U 13
5 UMKC 11
6 Utah Valley 7

2017 Softball Preseason All-WAC Team
Player School Yr. Pos.
Paige Bouska Seattle U Sr. UT
Victoria Castro NM State So. OF
Julea Cavazos CSU Bakersfield Jr. OF
Kayla Green NM State So. P
Kelsey Horton NM State So. 1B
Kendra Leach UMKC Jr. OF
Bailey Moore Utah Valley Sr. P
Taylor Nowlin Grand Canyon Sr. P
Rachel Rodriguez NM State Jr. INF
Bri Sims UMKC So. INF
Shea Smith Grand Canyon So. SS
Brittney Vansway Utah Valley Sr. INF
Camree Wartman Grand Canyon Sr. 2B

Preseason Player of the Year: Kelsey Horton, NM State
Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Taylor Nowlin, Grand Canyon