LSU Eunice Softball is ranked number 9 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Preseason polls, it was announced on Monday. The Bengals begin their fourth season under head coach Meghan Collins this Sunday with a road trip to National Park College.
LSUE enters the new campaign coming off the program’s ninth National Tournament appearance and first under Collins. The Bengals will play four preseason ranked teams during the season including Division II number five Jones College. LSUE will also face off with three teams ranked in the Division I preseason polls.
LSU Eunice will have 12 home doubleheaders during the 2023 season starting on February 6 against Kilgore College. The Bengals will play home-and-home series with the Rangers as well as Angelina College, Galveston College, Tyler Junior College, Baton Rouge Community College and San Jacinto College.
The home schedule rounds with split doubleheaders against Jones College and Bossier Parish Community College on February 11 as well as Lamar State College and Pearl River Community College on February 15. Other home dates include twin bills against Hinds Community College and Coastal Alabama Community College-South.
LSUE will play in three early season tournaments beginning February 3 with the Mardi Gras Invitational at the Youngsville Sports Complex. The Bengals also will make their annual trip to Gulf Shores at the Sun Chief Classic on February 17, followed by a stop in Vicksburg, Mississippi for the Hinds JUCO Classic on February 24.
The Bengals welcome back three everyday starters from last year’s 38-22 team as well as first-team All-American Chloe Bennett in the circle. Bennett enjoyed a breakout freshman season, breaking the school’s single season record with 240 punch outs.
Maci Baldwin is the team’s top bat back after a .333 batting average a season ago.
\LSUE’s postseason journey will begin with the Region 23 Tournament set for May 10-13, hosted by this year’s MACCC champion. Region 23 will have two teams receive berths into the NJCAA Division II National Tournament on May 23-27 at Tyger River Park in Spartanburg, South Carolina.