The Saint Louis University softball team has been selected to finish fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in voting conducted by A-10 head softball coaches.


Defending regular-season champion Massachusetts is a clear pick for the top spot, collecting nine of 10 first-place votes and garnering 99 points. Fordham, which last season captured its sixth straight A-10 Championship title, and Dayton are tied for second with 80 points, followed by Saint Louis with 66 points.


George Washington (one first-place vote) and George Mason tied for fifth in the poll with 57 points. Rounding out the rankings are Saint Joseph’s (49), Rhode Island (27), La Salle (21) and St. Bonaventure (14).


The Billikens welcome back 12 players, including seven position starters and two pitchers, from their 2018 team that was 28-29 overall and 11-10 (fifth place) in the A-10.


Among the returnees is sophomore first baseman Sadie Wise, who last year became the first freshman in program history to earn first-team All-Conference honors and selection to an All-Region team (third team). Wise, who played right field last season, also was a top-25 finalist for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year award.


Sophomore center fielder Kat Lane and sophomore catcher Alyssa Chavez joined Wise on the A-10 All-Rookie team, giving the Billikens three All-Rookie selections for the first time.


The Billikens open the season at Northern Iowa’s UNI-Dome Classic Friday-Sunday, Feb. 8-10, in Cedar Falls, Iowa.


Click here for the complete 2019 schedule, here for the 2019 roster and here for the 2018 final statistics.