Feb. 20, 2013
Bay City, Mich. - Grand Valley State was chosen to win the 2013 GLIAC Championship in the league's preseason poll, which was released by the conference office on Wednesday (Feb. 20). Voting for the poll was done by the league's head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Lakers received 12 of the 14 first-place votes to capture 168 total points and outdistance second place Wayne State (two first-place votes, 150 points). Ashland (138 points) narrowly edged Ferris State (137) for third place in the preseason rankings. Tiffin (104) and Ohio Dominican (101) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Hillsdale (93), Saginaw Valley State (90), Northwood (81), Findlay (71), Walsh (60), Malone (28), Lake Superior State (26), and Lake Erie (23) rounded out the 14-team field.
In 2012, GVSU finished 24-8 in conference play and won the GLIAC regular season title, going 45-15 overall on the year. The 45 wins are the sixth-most in school history, while the 24 conference wins are the most ever in Laker history. As a team, Grand Valley State hit .348 last year (sixth-best in Division II) and smashed 53 home runs; every one of those roundtrippers were hit by players that return this season.
Eight starters return from 2012 for GVSU head coach Doug Woods, who has tabulated an 813-374-3 record in his previous 22 seasons at the helm of the Laker program. The 2013 team looks to be a senior-laden group, including designated player Katie Martin (Daktronics Second Team All-American), pitcher Hannah Santora (Daktronics Third Team All-American), and centerfielder Nellie Kosola (NFCA Second Team All-Midwest Region).
Three more seniors - outfielder Emily Jones, second baseman Kayleigh Bertram, and catcher Emily Holt - will again be depended on in their starting roles. Also returning is junior shortstop Briauna Taylor (NFCA First Team All-Midwest Region) and her sister, junior outfielder Brittany Taylor (redshirted last season due to injury). Two more juniors - third baseman Miranda Cleary and first baseman Tonya Calkins - complete the GVSU lineup.
The Lakers are slated to begin the 2013 campaign this weekend (Feb. 23-24) at Missouri S&T with doubleheaders on both days. GVSU's home opener is on Mar. 27 against Wisconsin-Parkside at 3:30 p.m.