In a twist, Louisiana-Lafayette's softball team won't enter the season as the Sun Belt Conference favorite.
The Ragin' Cajuns were picked second in a preseason poll of the league's coaches, three votes behind Texas State. UL-Lafayette is the four-time defending conference regular-season champion and two-time defending conference tournament champ.
Texas State received six first-place votes and the Cajuns got the other four. They were followed by Georgia State, South Alabama and Louisiana-Monroe.
Texas State senior shortstop Ariel Ortiz was the preseason player of the year, and the Bobcats' Randi Rupp was preseason pitcher of the year.
However, the Cajuns and new coach Gerry Glasco had the league's most preseason all-conference picks with four: junior catcher Lexie Comeaux, sophomore shortstop Alissa Dalton, junior third baseman Kara Gremillion and senior outfielder Kelli Martinez.
UL-Lafayette will host the Sun Belt tournament May 9-12.