The 2020 American Rivers Conference Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll was released today and the Luther College softball team has been picked to finish third. The Norse received 48 points in the league's preseason coaches' poll. Central College (58 pts) was picked to win the league, followed by Wartburg College (56 pts).
Five-time Conference Coach of the Year Renae Hartl, returns 11 letter winners from last year's team that posted an overall record of 30-10 and finished fourth in the A-R-C with a mark of 10-6.
Coach Hartl returns four positions players, three that earned all-conference honors a year ago, and two starting pitchers.
Returning all-conference selections includes first-team honoree senior Paige Timmerman (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) at second base. Junior Hannah Halverson (Janesville, Wis./Craig) was a second-team selection at short stop.
Also returning from a year ago are senior Annie See (Mount Vernon, Iowa) in right field, who was named honorable mention all-conference. Junior Maleah Georgen (Manchester, Iowa/West Delaware) was a first-team all-Midwest honoree as a designated hitter. Sophomore Morgan Hogenson, who shared Co-Newcomer of the Year honors, returns in center field.
Sisters, junior Courtney Cooper and sophomore Kendra Cooper (Lansing, Iowa/Kee High), are the top returners from a year ago in the circle. Courtney, who was named the 2018 Super Regional Most Outstanding Pitcher, saw 55 1/3 innings of work and was 8-4-1 with an ERA of 2.91 a year ago. Kendra, threw 59 2/3 innings and was 4-0-0 with an ERA of 3.05 and was named Co-Newcomer of the Year.