NJAC Releases 2017 Softball Preseason Poll

PITMAN, N.J. (2/15/17) - Margie Acker returns for her 18th season at the head of the Kean University softball program coming off four consecutive postseason trips – including a run to the 2015 Division III Women's College World Series.

Kean was picked to finish sixth in the always-competitive NJAC conference after finishing in the same slot at the end of the 2016 season.

Two All-Americans will return to the Kean lineup: seniors Emily Sabo and Dana Knapp. Both players will be looking to re-write the Cougar record book in 2017.

Most notably, Knapp set the Kean single-season homerun record with 10 dingers last season, and may challenge the school's career record of 17 despite only playing two seasons in a Kean uniform. Sabo is looking to become the first Cougar in history to bat over .400 in her career - she'll enter her senior season with a head start thanks to her career .440 average.

Other starters returning include senior pitcher Shannon McMahon, infielders Amanda Berezny, Caroline Ratti and Samantha Krakower, catcher Katie Garbarino, outfielders Emily Bissonnette and Olivia Zengel, designated player MacKenzie Valeriani and sophomore shortstop Cayleen Rizo, who missed all of the 2016 season due to injury.

Only two seniors graduated from last year's team that won 20 games, so the Cougars should be primed for another successful season when play begins in Florida on March 5 over Spring Break.

2017 NJAC Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Rowan (9)
3. Stockton
4. Ramapo
5. William Paterson (1)
6. Kean
7. Rutgers-Camden
8. Montclair State
9. Rutgers-Newark (dark horse)
10. NJCU