Sara Matthews and Zack McKnight


The University of Arkansas at Monticello softball team has been selected to finish third in the 2014 Great American Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, while the baseball team has earned a fourth place prediction following its conference tournament runner-up finish this past May.

The Blossoms earned 75 poll points and two first place votes to fall behind defending champion Southeastern Oklahoma State as the preseason favorite with 97 points and seven first place votes and East Central in second with 87 points and two first place votes.

Behind UAM is Arkansas Tech in fourth with 70 points, Southern Arkansas in fifth with 60 points, Henderson State in sixth with 59 points, Ouachita Baptist and Southern Nazarene tied for seventh with 36 points, Northwestern Oklahoma State in ninth with 33 points, Southwestern Oklahoma State in 10th with 27 points and Harding in 11th with 25 points.

The UAM baseball squad earned 63 poll points for its fourth place prediction. Defending conference champion Southern Arkansas took the top spot in the poll with 100 points and 10 of the 11 first place votes. Arkansas Tech earned the other first place vote and 88 poll points for a second place prediction. Southwestern Oklahoma State closes out the top three with 78 points.

Behind the Weevils, Henderson State ranks fifth with 61 points, Harding ranks sixth with 55 points, Ouachita Baptist ranks seventh with 50 points, Southeastern Oklahoma State ranks eighth with 46 points, Northwestern Oklahoma State ranks ninth with 25 points, Southern Nazarene ranks 10th with 19 points and East Central rounds out the poll with 13 points.

Both teams open the 2014 season on Saturday, February 1. The Blossoms open up at home against Christian Brothers, while the Weevils are at Minute Maid Park that weekend for the Houston Astros Winter Invitational.