The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced their 2019 preseason poll on Wednesday afternoon. Lenoir-Rhyne captured No. 19 in the early edition of the rankings after finishing 2018 at No. 21, receiving 109 votes. The Bears were picked to finish first in the recently released SAC Preseason poll.
The Bears ended last season with a record of 45-10 overall and 19-1 in SAC play to finish at the top of the conference in the regular season. Lenoir-Rhyne advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship as the No. 2 seed and a host institution before bowing out just shy of the Super Regional.
Lenoir-Rhyne earned three of the four conference postseason awards: Coach of the Year (Shena Hollar), Pitcher of the Year (Emily Kenley), and Freshman of the Year (Kylee Leonhardt).
The Bears open the 2019 campaign on Saturday when they travel to Chowan.