Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Three-Time GNAC Softball Champion JWU Near Unanimous Choice in Preseason Poll



JWU seeking fourth
straight GNAC title in 2018

WINTHROP, Mass. – Winners of three straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Softball Championships, Johnson & Wales University (RI) has received 12 of the 13 first-place votes in the 2018 GNAC Preseason Poll, which was announced on Thursday afternoon. The ledger was voted upon by the league's head coaches.

JWU received 168 points overall in the poll, well clear of second-place Suffolk University, which garnered 150 points and one first-place vote. The two programs went head-to-head for the GNAC title last spring, as JWU was unbeaten in last year's double-elimination tournament before Suffolk forced a do-or-die championship contest with a come-from-behind 3-2 win in Providence, R.I. But the Wildcats were able to earn their third NCAA Tournament berth in as many years with a 15-5, six-inning victory in the final game of the tournament.

JWU went on to fall in a pair of heartbreakers during last year's NCAA Regional at SUNY Cortland, losing to Messiah, 5-2, after having a 2-0 lead in the first inning and the game deadlocked in a tie in the sixth. With the Wildcats facing elimination, they were then downed, 4-3, by Cortland State in a game that was tied in the fifth innning. The Wildcats won one game in both their 2015 and 2016 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Saint Joseph's College of Maine took the fourth spot in the poll with 139 points, one point ahead of fourth-place Albertus Magnus College, which will look forward to its first season at the newly built Shea Softball Complex on campus in New Haven, Conn. The University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) rounded out the top-five in the poll with 98 points.

The No. 6 through No. 8 spots were all close in the voting, as Simmons College received 98 points, Emmanuel College collected 92 points and Norwich University had 90 points. For the complete poll results, please see below.

The final two days of the 2018 GNAC Softball Tournament will be hosted by the No. 1 seed the weekend of May 5-6. The top-two seeds will host a pair of contests on Thursday, May 3 as part of the double-elimination portion of the postseason, while the single-elimination round is scheduled for Tuesday, May 1, hosted by the fifth- and sixth-seeded teams.

Fans can catch all of the action this spring live on or watch your favorite GNAC teams on one of our four custom digital streaming apps (broadcasts are produced by home institutions).

2018 GNAC Softball Preseason Poll
1. Johnson & Wales (12) - 168
2. Suffolk (1) - 150
3. Saint Joseph's Maine - 139
4. Albertus Magnus - 138
5. Saint Joseph (CT) - 102
6. Simmons - 98
7. Emmanuel - 92
8. Norwich - 90
9. Mount Ida - 58
10. Regis (Mass.) - 49
11. Rivier - 43
12. Lasell - 37
13. Anna Maria - 19

Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement. 

– #TheGNAC –