The Thunder received votes totaling 52 points including one first-place vote to take the second position. The point totals are determined by votes cast by the league's coaches, who cannot vote for their own team. Calvin College was picked first in the poll with 64 points including the other eight first-place votes. Hope College (48) and Alma College (44) round out the top four in the conference.
During the 2018 campaign, Trine finished in a tie for fifth in the MIAA missing out on the conference tournament. Despite missing out on conference postseason play the team received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship Tournament. It marked the 11th straight year that the team has appeared at NCAA Regionals.
The Thunder finished the season with a 26-13 overall record while going 8-8 in the MIAA.
Trine returns a core of key players from last year's campaign. Headlining that group are Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) and Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) who both return for their junior season.
Makenna returns having finished second on the team, and third in the MIAA, with 11 home runs last season. She also came away with a .354 batting average and a .442 on-base percentage. She finished in the top-five among MIAA competitors with 49 runs batted in.
Michaela finished just behind her sister with six home runs last season coming in third on the team. She also finished with a .323 batting average and a .470 on-base percentage.
On the mound, two contributors return for the Thunder. Hannah Kampmann (St. Paul, Minn.) returns for her junior campaign having led the team in innings pitched last season. She ended the year with a 4.44 earned run average while leading the team with 65 strikeouts.
Senior Kate Saupe (Farwell, Mich. / Farwell) also returns having seen significant time in the circle. She finished last season with a 4.08 ERA including 42 strikeouts in her 48 innings of work.
2019 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
|Place||School (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||Calvin College (8)||64|
|2.||Trine University (1)||52|
|5.||Saint Mary's College||34|