SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- With the 2018 Loyola Marymount softball season just two weeks away, the West Coast Conference announced its Preseason Poll today, as the Lions were slotted in a tie for a second-place finish along with the Pacific Tigers. Additionally, LMU seniors Brooke Christensen and Irma Sanchez and junior Hannah Bandimere were named to the 2018 All-WCC Preseason Softball Team.
BYU was projected to finish first and earned five first-place votes and 25 total points. Pacific earned one first-place vote and finished with 19 total points, along with LMU. San Diego (13 points) was fourth, Saint Mary's (nine points), fifth and Santa Clara (five points), sixth.
Christensen was named to the All-WCC First Team following her 2017 season after finishing with a .292 batting average, 28 total hits and a .385 slugging percentage. In the 15-game league slate, she led the team with her .375 batting average, with 12 hits, including two doubles and two home runs. She scored five runs, had three RBIs, and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Sanchez took home All-WCC Second Team honors last season. She led the team hitting with a percentage of .315 for the year with 46 hits, seven doubles and three home runs. In WCC play, she batted .314 with 16 hits, including two doubles and five RBIs. In the field, she had 58 putouts, four assists and one error.
Bandimere posted a team leading 2.08 ERA in 2017. The pitcher earned a 6-4 record over 15 appearances as a sophomore last season (all starts), which included seven complete games and one combined shutout. She tossed a total of 80.2 innings with 52 strikeouts. Bandimere raked up a season-high eight strikeouts in a complete game against Saint Mary's on Apr. 30.
The full WCC release can be viewed here.
The Lions open the 2018 season on Friday, Feb. 9 at the Titan Classic at Cal State Fullerton when they take on Pittsburgh. LMU holds its first home games at Smith Field on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 12 and 2:30 p.m. vs. Hawaii.
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