Skyhawks softball gets a pair of first-place votes

Fort Lewis College softball received two votes for first-place consideration in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.

Colorado School of Mines is the preseason favorite to win the RMAC. The Orediggers received eight first-place votes.

Colorado Christian, which didn’t receive any first-place consideration, was picked to finish runner-up.

FLC was picked to finish third.

“When the preseason poll comes out, it is always a last push of motivation to fine tune before beginning games,” FLC head coach Kira Zeiter said in a news release. “We appreciate getting some votes to finish first, but what is more important is where we finish at the end of the season.”

At the end of last season, FLC won the RMAC Tournament, reached the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history and finished its season with a record number of wins (30-26).

Chelsea Rodriguez, a junior third baseman from Mesa, Ariz., was the Skyhawks’ lone representative on the RMAC Preseason All-Conference Team. Rodriguez led the nation in on-base percentage (.610) and walks (.89 per game), the first Skyhawks’ player ever to lead the nation in a statistical category.

“Chelsea’s big bat has earned her plenty of respect around the conference,” Zeiter said of the school’s career batting average leader (.417).

Metro State and CSU-Pueblo each received a first-place vote and were picked to finish fourth and fifth, respectively. UC-Colorado Springs received a first-place vote and was picked to finish seventh.

Katelyn Lovato, a senior outfielder for Adams State, was chosen as the RMAC Preseason Player of the Year, while Kelly Unkrich, a senior for Colorado Mines, was chosen as the preseason pitcher.