The University of Indianapolis softball team has been picked No. 1 out of the top 25 teams in the country by the Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason coaches’ poll for 2022 as well as being tabbed at No. 10 in the country for the NFCA Division II Coaches Poll, according to UIndy Athletics. The Greyhounds achieved their mission of winning the GLVC Tournament Title for 2021 and aim to do the same for the upcoming season as well as get to the super regional Division II Women’s College World Series, Head Softball Coach Melissa Frost said.
Frost said the team winning the GLVC Tournament Title puts a bigger target on their backs, but with last year’s standing as an indicator for this season, being named No. 1 in the conference and staying there is the objective. Frost said though they have lost key people, there are younger members stepping up ready to take on their roles.
“Anytime that our name is mentioned in the national spotlight, we’re excited,” Frost said. “But we also know that we need to work and we’ve got to get to work to maintain that or even move up.”
Graduate student first basemen Gianni Iannantone said the team placing at the top of the preseason poll was motivation for them but the ranking is not set in stone, and though the coaches chose the Greyhounds for the top spot, the expectation is for the team to follow through with the placement.
Iannantone became the fifth position player to be voted the league’s Player of the Year in program history, according to UIndy Athletics. She led the GLVC in both hits and runs batted, coming in 13th in Division II for the National Fast Pitches Coaches Association, according to UIndy Athletics.
“I think that we are in a better place as a team than we were last year at this point [in] the season,” Iannantone said. “Hopefully it is better and we do make it to our ultimate goal, which is the national championship. I think the camaraderie and just how this team bonds is what is going to separate us from any other team in the country right now.”
Frost said the main goal for the Greyhounds is to win the GLVC Tournament Title, get back to the World Series and win the national championship. Frost said expectations for the team are set on picking up where they left off last year in a good spot and she is excited to see the team play.
“They’re a fun group to watch. I think that they’ve worked hard in the offseason and came back very prepared, and I’m really excited to get going,” Frost said.
Iannantone said the GLVC coaches projecting the UIndy softball team as the top of the coaches’ poll is what their ultimate goal is for the season and it is not just given from the start and something to work for during the season.