WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State softball has been voted the 2022 league favorites by the American Athletic Conference coaches, it was announced Tuesday afternoon.

Coming off a sweep of Regular Season and Conference Tournament Championships in 2021, the Shockers enter the 2022 campaign picked to repeat as regular season champs. Wichita State received a league-high four first-place votes and 33 total points, edging out South Florida who garnered 31 points and one vote for first place. A total of four points separated the top three teams, as UCF picked up the remaining two first-place votes and 29 points. Rounding out the poll were Houston (19), Tulsa (18), East Carolina (9) and Memphis (8).

Wichita State returns 15 letterwinners from 2021, including NFCA All-American shortstop Sydney McKinney. Joining McKinney are all-conference selections Addison Barnard and Neleigh Herring. The Shockers will also lean on two impact transfers in Zoe Jones (Texas Tech) and Arielle James (Houston). In the circle Wichita State brings back veteran experience in Erin McDonald and Caitlin Bingham.

The Shockers open the season at the Bearkat Classic in Huntsville, Texas, Feb. 11-13. Wichita State will play five games over three days against Dayton, Sam Houston, South Dakota and Houston Baptist.

2022 American Athletic Conference Preseason Softball Coaches’ Poll

Team (First-Place Votes)Pts.
1. Wichita State (4)33
2. South Florida (1)        31
3. UCF (2)29
4. Houston19
5. Tulsa18
6. Memphis9
7. East Carolina8