WACO, TEXAS (Dec. 23, 2021) –The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) softball team has been picked fourth in the 2022 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Softball Preseason Poll released this week with 83 votes.
Picked first with 115 votes is the University of Houston – Victoria (UHV), which won the conference tournament last year and made it to the NAIA National Tournament. Picked second with 100 votes is Texas A&M University – Texarkana (TAMUT), which won the regular-season title. LSU-Alexandria (LSUA) follows in third place with 99 votes.
Throughout the years, the Saints have been picked as high first in 2014 and 2018. Their preseason rankings are as follows:
2010 – fifth
2011 – third
2012 – third
2013 – second
2014 – first
2015 – second
2016 – fourth
2017 – third
2018 – first
2019 – fourth
2020 – fifth
2021 – fourth
Head Coach Bruce Lenington returns for his third season. His overall record at OLLU is 37-32 and 15-6 in the conference. Jody Armijo and Nicholas Espinoza return as assistant coaches, while Lenington welcomes Katrisha Arocha to this year's coaching staff. An OLLU Softball Hall of Fame recipient, Arocha played for the Saints in 2014-2015. She is the first softball player at OLLU to earn NAIA All-American honors.
The Saints finished the 2021 season with an overall 26-18 record and 12-6 in the conference. They were the postseason's third seed. The women defeated the University of the Southwest (USA) 2-0 and LSUA 6-0 before losing to TAMUT 0-1 and UHV 4-10 to end their season.
RRAC standings will look very different in 2022. Two schools that opted out last year, Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) and Texas College (TXC), return to action, and new RRAC members Louisiana Christian University (LCU) and Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) will enter the fray.
With the expanded conference, the RRAC will be split into East and West divisions. Jarvis Christian College, LSUA, TAMUT, TXC, and XULA will play in the East. UHV, HTU, OLLU, USW, and Texas A&M-San Antonio (TAMUSA) will compete in the West.
Preseason poll voting was submitted by each of the head coaches. The poll results are below, with points calculated through an 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format. First-place votes are shown in parentheses.
Texas A&M-Texarkana (2)
Our Lady of the Lake
Jarvis Christian (1)
Texas A&M-San Antonio
The Saints open their 2022 season as hosts of the OLLU Classic Tournament on Feb. 3-5.