Marshall’s Sydney Bickel named to pre-season All Sunbelt Conference Team

Herd picked 7th in Preseason Coaches Poll

The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2024 Softball Preseason Awards on Wednesday with Marshall senior shortstop Sydney Bickel being named to the Preseason All-SBC Team.

Bickel – also named the 2023 SBC Newcomer of the Year – hit .363 last season, with 61 hits, 57 runs scored, 20 stolen bases and seven triples, which tied a program all-time best. The shortstop played in and started in all 55 games in 2023, with 107 assists and 71 putouts.

The Peoria, Arizona native is one nine returners for first-year head coach Morgan Zerkle’s team.  

“I’m proud of Sydney Bickel not only for the obvious player she is to everyone but for the way she’s stepped up to help lead this team,” Coach Zerkle said. “The sky is the limit for her this season.” 

The Herd is picked 7th in the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Poll. Defending champions Louisiana have been unanimously tabbed as the preseason favorite with James Madison selected as 5th, the de facto east division favorite. 

“All fall and preseason we’ve talked a lot about how you have to believe in yourself,” Coach Zerkle said. “I love that Marshall Softball is ranked 7th. We don’t need others to believe in us or have high expectations for us. We set our own standards, and I look forward to competing with the best of the best this season.”

The full coaches poll and preseason awards list can be found below.


1. Louisiana – 144 (12)

2. South Alabama – 127

3. Texas State – 122

4. Troy – 98

5. James Madison – 94

6. Coastal Carolina – 81

7. Marshall – 79

8. ULM – 59

9. Southern Miss – 49

10. Georgia State – 35

11. Georgia Southern – 25

12. App State – 23


Preseason Player of the Year

Mihyia Davis, Louisiana (So., OF – Lovelady, Texas)

Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Jessica Mullins, Texas State (Sr., P – Tarkington, Texas)

Preseason All-Sun Belt Team

Lauren Allred, Louisiana (So., 1B – Texarkana, Texas)

Taylor McKinney, Troy (Jr., 2B – Montgomery, Ala.)

Alexa Langeliers, Louisiana (Jr., 2B – Keller, Texas)

Sydney Bickel, Marshall (Sr., SS – Peoria, Ariz.)

Brooke Ellestad, Louisiana (Jr., SS – Kimberly, Wis.)

Sara Vanderford, Texas State (Gr., 3B – Pasadena, Texas)

Delaney Keith, Coastal Carolina (So., 3B – Nampa, Idaho)

Mihyia Davis, Louisiana (So., OF – Lovelady, Texas)

Mackenzie Brasher, South Alabama (Gr., OF – Orange Beach, Ala.)

Kayt Houston, App State (Sr., OF – Rock Hill, S.C.)

Sophie Piskos, Louisiana (Sr., C – Paris, Tenn.)

Iyanla De Jesus, Coastal Carolina (Gr., DP – Mill Creek, Wash.)

Jessica Mullins, Texas State (Sr., P – Tarkington, Texas)

Olivia Lackie, South Alabama (Sr., P – Walker, La.)

Sam Landry, Louisiana (Jr., P – Mont Belvieu, Texas)

For all the latest information about Marshall softball, follow @HerdSB on Twitter and Instagram.

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