DURANT — Southeastern softball will open the 2017 season with its lowest preseason ranking since joining the Great American Conference at fifth in the GAC preseason poll as selected by the league’s coaches.

The Savage Storm posted a third-place finish a season ago with a 29-23 record overall and a 25-15 mark in GAC play.

Southern Arkansas enters the 2017 season as the favorite with 116 points and seven of the league’s first-place votes after finishing second a season ago.

Last year’s regular season champion Arkansas Tech was second in the poll with 112 points and four first-place votes.

Harding came in third with 101 and one first place vote, while Henderson State was fifth with 87 points.

SE’s 78 points left it just ahead of Arkansas-Monticello at 71, followed by East Central Southern Nazarene, Oklahoma Baptist and Southwestern Oklahoma State.