The Ottawa University softball team expects to be in the mix for the conference championship in 2020. The KCAC softball coaches agree.

The Lady Braves were selected second in the KCAC Softball Coaches poll. Ottawa received 146 points and two first-place votes to finish behind defending KCAC champs McPherson, which received 163 points and 10 first-place votes.

This is the sixth-straight season Ottawa has been picked to finish either first or second in the KCAC by the conference coaches. Rounding out the top three was Friends University, which received 145 points and one first-place vote.

“We know that being picked second will not have any outcome on the season,” said Ottawa head softball coach Jay Kahnt. “Preseason rankings are always based on the past. Our conference is getting better every year. We have some great coaches in our conference, who have had success in the KCAC and at previous schools. There are a bunch of really good pitchers in the KCAC this year, maybe the best set of pitchers this conference has ever had. I know our team will be ready for the challenge, especially after the fourth-place finish last year. It should be a fun conference season.”

The Braves open the 2020 season 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at home against Hastings College, which should mark the debut of the new turf surface on the OU softball field. It was announced in November the baseball, softball and practice soccer field would receive turf surfaces for the 2020 season.

2020 KCAC Softball Coaches Preseason Poll

1. McPherson 163 (10)

2. Ottawa 146 (2)

3. Friends 145 (1)

4. Avila 138

5. Tabor 111

6. Kansas Wesleyan 97

7. Bethany 88

8. York 65

9. Saint Mary 63

10. Bethel 58

11. Oklahoma Wesleyan 57

12. Sterling 35

13. Southwestern 17