Ohio was predicted by the coaches in the Mid-American Conference to win the MAC Tournament Championship in the preseason poll.
The Bobcats, who were picked to finish second in the East Division, received four of the 12 first-place votes for the MAC Tournament voting. Kent State, who was picked to finish first in the East, claimed three first-place votes, while Northern Illinois got two votes. Buffalo and defending champion Miami both got one vote.
Ohio finished last season with a record of 37-23, but lost in the MAC Tournament Championship game 3-0 to Miami.
Reigning MAC Pitcher of the Year Savannah Jo Dorsey will return to lead the team following one of the best individual seasons in program history. Dorsey went 24-12 with a 1.72 ERA and led the nation in strikeouts with 336, an Ohio record. Dorsey was ranked No. 22 in the Fastpitch News 2017 Preseason Top 50 NCAA Softball Pitchers.
Junior pitcher Danielle Steine was ranked No. 26 on the same list. Steine is coming off a season where she went 12-10 with a 2.29 ERA en route to earning Second Team All-MAC honors.
Dorsey, Steine and the rest of team will look to avenge last year’s loss and win the MAC for the first time since 2014.
Ohio opens its season on Feb. 10 against Longwood in the Carolina Classic.