Aurora is coaches pick for NAC Softball crown
WAUKESHA, Wis.- The Northern Athletics Conference softball coaches picked Aurora as the favorite in the 2013 preseason poll.
The Spartans received six of the 13 first-place votes and 161 poll points, ahead of three-time defending champion Benedictine's 157 points and the remaining seven first-place nods. The two teams have accounted for the league's first six titles, as the Spartans won the first three before the Eagles' current run.
Concordia Wisconsin came in third with 143 points, followed by Marian (120), Dominican (116) and Lakeland (102).
Concordia Chicago was tabbed seventh with 97 points, Alverno eighth with 72, while Edgewood was ninth with 66.
Wisconsin Lutheran (52), Rockford (44), MSOE (33) and Maranatha (20) rounded out the final spots in the poll.
Aurora finished as NAC runner-up last season with a 20-4 record (26-17 overall) and return a pair of All-NAC first teamers, Tristan Wilcox (Sr., C, .429, 7 HR) and NAC Freshman of the Year Natalie Zanella (So., P, 16-11, 1.71 ERA).
The league's six-team double-elimination tournament takes place May 2-4 at Alverno Field in Milwaukee. The tournament champion receives the NAC's automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA III Championship Tournament.
2013 Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Aurora (6), 161
2. Benedictine (7), 157
3. Concordia Wisconsin, 143
4. Marian, 120
5. Dominican, 116
6. Lakeland, 102
7. Concordia Chicago, 97
8. Alverno, 72
9. Edgewood, 66
10. Wisconsin Lutheran, 52
11. Rockford, 44
12. MSOE, 33
13. Maranatha, 20
first-place votes in parentheses
voted by the conference's head coaches
13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used