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first_imgDrake led by head coach Rich Calvert, who is in his 15th season at the helm of the program, is the favorite to win the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference as voted by the league’s coaches in the preseason poll. The Bulldogs edged Wichita State by four points to claim the top spot in the poll with six first-place votes and 92 overall points. South Dakota Live Stats Montana Live Video Also, back are six players who received all-conference accolades. Junior Tasha Alexander (All-Defensive) (Eddyville, Iowa), sophomore Kennedy Frank (first team) (Chesterfield, Mo.), sophomore Taryn Pena (second team) (Columbia, Ill.), junior Kailee Smith (second team) (Murrieta, Calif.), senior Megan Sowa (first team) (Gurnee, Ill.) and junior Kelsey Wright (first team) (Olathe, Kan.) all return. South Dakota State and Drake split a doubleheader last season in Des Moines. The Jackrabbits are picked to finish fifth in the Summit League preseason poll. Omaha and Drake also split a pair of games last season. The Mavericks are picked to finish second in the Summit. Montana is in just its fourth season of existence. The two teams are meeting for the first-ever time. Drake and Wisconsin last played in 2012 and in a game the Badgers won 8-0. Rounding out the returners are seniors Ashlie Chambers (Ankeny, Iowa) and Kaitlyn Finneran (Morrison, Ill.), sophomores Gabbie Jonas (Omaha, Neb.) and Melissa Schlotzhauer (Pilot Grove, Mo.) and senior Maddy Hooyman (Trenton, Mo.). All five played last season. Omaha Live Video Montana Live Stats Omaha Live Stats center_img Following the UNI-Dome Classic, Drake travels to Tucson, Ariz., to play in Wildcat Invitational, where the Bulldogs will play six games over four days, Feb. 16-19.Print Friendly Version Drake lost just one player from last season’s team that finished with a 30-24 overall record and in second place in the regular season and at the MVC Tournament. 10 starters return for the Bulldogs, including junior standout pitcher Nicole Newman (Madison, Wis.) who was selected the 2016 MVC Pitcher of the Year and to the All-MVC First Team for the second-straight year. CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Drake University softball team opens the 2017 season at the UNI-Dome Classic hosted by UNI that runs from Friday to Sunday. Drake starts the annual tournament held in the UNI-Dome on Friday night against South Dakota State at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will then play Omaha at 8 a.m. and Montana at 10:15 a.m. Saturday morning before concluding play Sunday with another game against South Dakota State and one versus Wisconsin. Sunday’s games will start at 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. Saturday’s games will be broadcast online via The Valley on ESPN3. South Dakota State Live Stats The 12 returning players are joined this year by a four-member freshman class. Abby Buie (Gardner, Kan.), Aryka Knoche (Little Canada, Minn.), Sarah Maddox (Henderson, Nev.) and Mandi Roemmich (West Des Moines, Iowa) are set for their first seasons as Bulldogs. Wisconsin Live Stats Story Linkslast_img

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