The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are the pick as the team to beat in the 2019 Sun Belt Conference softball race.

Louisiana, who returns six players who started at least 30 games, along with their top two pitchers, in terms of innings pitched, from a team that went 41-16 last year, were tabbed as the favorite to win the regular-season title in the preseason coaches' poll, which was released last Friday.

The Cajuns, who are ranked 15th in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and 18th in the Softball Top 25, garnered 98 points and eight first-place votes to grab the top spot.

Texas State and Troy each received one first-place vote with the Bobcats coming in second with 88 points and the Trojans close behind in third with 82 points.

UTA is picked fourth in the poll, followed by Georgia St., South Alabama, Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, ULM, and Appalachian St.

Meanwhile, UL junior shortstop Alissa Dalton was named the Preseason Player of the Year, while junior right-hander Summer Ellyson was tabbed as Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

The 2018 Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year, Dalton hit a .354 last season, to go along with three home runs and 32 runs batted in.

An All-Sun Belt Conference selection last season, Ellyson went 23-10 with a 1.53 ERA.

Senior catcher Lexie Comeaux and senior third baseman Kara Gremillion were also both named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Team.

The 20th season of Sun Belt softball gets underway on Thursday, Feb. 7 with all 10 teams in action over the opening weekend.

Louisiana opens its 2019 regular season campaign against Fordham on Thursday, in the first day of the Ragin' Cajuns Classic at Lamson Park.

The 2019 Sun Belt Softball Championship is set for May 8-11 at the Bobcat Softball Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.

View the complete Sun Belt Softball Preseason Poll & Honors, below:

Preseason Coaches’ Poll
First-place votes in parentheses1. Louisiana (8) - 98
2. Texas St. (1) - 88
3. Troy (1)- 82
4. UTA - 62
5. Georgia St. - 59
6. South Alabama - 57
7. Georgia Southern - 39
8. Coastal Carolina - 27
8. ULM - 27
10. Appalachian St. - 11

Preseason All-Sun Belt Team
Summer Ellyson, Louisiana (Jr., P, Lafayette, La.)1
Annie Willis, Troy (So., P, Huntsville, Ala.)1
Lexie Comeaux, Louisiana (Sr., C, Tomball, Texas)
Reagan Wright, UTA (Jr., C, Mansfield, Texas)1
Haleigh Davis, Texas State (Jr., C, Houston, Texas)2
Hailey MacKay, Texas State (Jr., 1B, Leander, Texas)1
Katie Webb, Troy (Jr., 1B, Salem, Ala.)2
Kristin Hawkins, Georgia State (RSr., 2B, Dacula, Ga.)
Kara Gremillion, Louisiana (Sr., 3B, Gonzales, La.)1
Alissa Dalton, Louisiana (Jr., SS, Cypress, Texas)*1
Jayden Mount, ULM (Jr., SS, Longview, Texas) 2
Courtney Dean, Coastal Carolina (So., OF, Indian Trail, N.C.)1
Sydney McKay, ULM (Sr., OF, Pearland, Texas)1
Laura Curry, UTA (Sr., OF, Temecula, Calif.)1
Jenny Dodd, Appalachian State (Sr., DP/C, Mocksville, N.C.)2

Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year
Alissa Dalton, Louisiana (Jr., SS, Cypress, Texas)*1

Sun Belt Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Summer Ellyson, Louisiana (Jr., P, Lafayette, La.)1

12018 First Team All-Sun Belt selection
22018 Second Team All-Sun Belt selection
*2018 Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year