The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) softball team was selected to finish first in the 2020 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Softball Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's member head coaches.
CMS notched six first place votes and 61 points and was slated to finish first in the 2020 SCIAC Preseason Poll. The Athenas posted a 31-13 overall record in 2019 and finished 24-4 in conference play, en route to the top seed in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. After receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship, CMS fell to SCIAC Tournament champion Whittier, before falling to Linfield in an elimination game.
After earning the second seed in the conference postseason tournament a year ago, Pomona-Pitzer was tabbed to finish second in the league in 2020. The Sagehens received 55 points and a pair of first place votes in the preseason voting after posting a 32-12-1 overall ledger, and a 21-7 mark in SCIAC play last season. After defeating Chapman, 6-2 and Whittier (6-5 in 10 innings), Pomona-Pitzer then fell to the Poets twice in the championship round of the double-elimination tournament, 5-3 and 4-3.
The fourth seed in the SCIAC Tournament a year ago, Whittier received 49 points in the preseason vote ahead of the 2020 season after powering to a 24-20-1 overall ledger and a 16-12 mark in SCIAC action. The Poets won four of five games in the SCIAC playoffs, knocking off CMS twice and Pomona-Pitzer twice on championship Sunday to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA postseason. Whittier then defeated the Athenas once more, before falling to regional winner Linfield twice.
After narrowly missing the SCIAC Postseason Tournament a year ago, La Verne and 2019 third seed Chapman each received 35 points in the 2020 preseason vote. The Leopards tallied a 17-23 overall mark (13-15 SCIAC), while the Panthers were 19-23 overall, 18-10 in league play a year ago. Chapman fell to Pomona-Pitzer in its opening conference tournament contest before falling to CMS in an elimination game.
Redlands, Occidental and California Lutheran finished sixth, seventh and eighth in the preseason voting receiving 28, 13 and 12 points respectively. The Bulldogs logged a 16-24 overall tally in 2019 that included a 10-18 mark in SCIAC action, while the Tigers and Regals notched four and six wins in league play respectively.
The 2020 campaign gets underway Saturday, January 18 as La Verne hosts St. Katherine in a double-header.
2020 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. CMS (6) - 61 points
2. Pomona-Pitzer (2) - 55 points
3. Whittier - 49 points
4. La Verne - 35 points
5. Chapman - 35 points
6. Redlands - 28 points
7. Occidental - 13 points
8. Cal Lutheran - 12 points