Respect for Oklahoma Baptist will have to be earned on the softball field as the Great American Conference coaches rank the Lady Bison last in the preseason poll released Tuesday.

OBU is coming off an 18-30 season in which they gave up just shy of 300 runs.

The team returns leading hitter and run producer Shalee Cordell (.414, 50 RBI) and Kasey Maddox, who swatted 11 home runs last season and is second on the all-time home run list at the school.

East Central is the preseason favorite, getting six of 12 first-place votes and 113 points on the heels of their 34-16 season in 2015.

Henderson State (43-15) got five first-place votes and 104 points for second and Southern Arkansas, with whom OBU opens the GAC schedule in February, got the remaining first-place vote and is third with 98 points.

Southeastern Oklahoma State is fourth in the poll, followed by Arkansas Tech, Harding, Southern Nazarene, Arkansas-Monticello, Northwestern Oklahoma State, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Ouachita Baptist and OBU.

The Lady Bison begin the season at home Feb. 9 against Central Oklahoma.