Syracuse graduate among newcomers for Peru State softball

PERU – The Peru State Bobcat softball coaching staff has announced its commits prior to the 2019 spring season. Head coach J. L. Thomason recently shared the list of newcomers.

The following have indicated their commitment to play for the Bobcats this spring with their previous school and hometown listed, in addition to their projected position(s) they will play. They are listed alphabetically:

Payton Beckmann, Syracuse HS (Syracuse), Outfield
Madison Benne, Bellevue East HS (Bellevue), Middle Infield
Bailey Bitz, Ravenna HS (Ravenna), Pitcher
Leah Carter, Ancilla CC (New Palestine, Ind.), Catcher
Madi Davis, Norris HS (Hickman), Pitcher/First Base
Alyiah Franco, North Platte CC (Syracuse, Utah), Outfield
Jordynn Jimenez, Bakersfield College (Delano, Calif.), Shortstop
Alana Krieser, North Star HS (Lincoln), Pitcher
Alaina Lacy, Southwest HS (Lincoln), Outfield
Alena Montoya, Bear Creek HS (Lakewood, Colo.), Third Base
Andrea Page, Chase County HS (Palisade), Catcher
Cydney Parsons, Ashland-Greewood HS (Ashland), Second Base
Gabby Stage, Olathe East HS (Olathe, Kan.), Pitcher
Jennifer VanDeWalle, Aurora HS (Aurora), Pitcher
Alejandra Vivar, North Platte CC (Lima, Peru), First Base
Takia Walker, Enterprise CC (Enterprise, Ala.), Outfield

These newcomers will join the eight returners from last year’s Bobcat roster for the spring campaign.  The season is right around the corner as the team prepares to play their first game in less than a month.

Bobcats sit in 12th in conference preseason poll

PERU – Central Methodist (Mo.), the 2018 Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) Tournament runner-up, is ranked No. 1 in the 2019 Heart of America Athletic Conference Softball Coaches’ Preseason Poll.

The Peru State Bobcat softball team, under the direction of second-year head coach J.L. Thomason, was picked 12th in the poll.

The Eagles, who compiled a record of 43-12 and 28-6 in conference play last season, received four first-place votes and 154 points amongst the Heart coaches. The squad was also ranked No. 18 in the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll.

No. 21 Grand View (Iowa), the defending tournament champions, were picked second after receiving four first-place votes at 153 points. The Vikings ended last season with a 48-10 record, claiming both the 2018 Heart of America Regular Season and Tournament titles.

(RV) Baker (Kan.) also picked up four first-place votes, coming in third place with 151 points. The Wildcats ended the 2018 campaign with a 41-16 overall record and a 26-10 Heart showing in a season full of record-breaking accomplishments and several program-firsts.

All three programs qualified for the 2018 NAIA Softball Championship Opening Round last season.

The conference season will open on February 24 with Grand View on the road at Benedictine. Conference tournament play is slated to begin on May 1.

Peru State, which finished 16-34 overall last season and had a conference mark of 11-25, finished 12th in the fourteen-conference in 2018 as Avila (Mo.) was still a member. The Bobcats will open their season on February 15 in Batesville, Ark., against Lyon College.

The first Heart action for the Bobcats will be March 12 when they travel to Baldwin City, Kan., to face Baker.

2019 Softball Coaches’ Preseason Poll

Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Central Methodist (4) 154
2. Grand View (4) 153
3. Baker (4) 151
4. MidAmerica Nazarene (1) (Kan.) 122
5. Mount Mercy (Iowa) 117
6. Benedictine (Kan.) 92
7. Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 90
8. Evangel (Mo.) 79
9. Clarke (Iowa) 61
10. Graceland (Iowa) 59
11. William Penn (Iowa) 53
12. Peru State 27
13. Missouri Valley 26

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