WAUKESHA, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin Softball has been selected to finish third in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in 2014 according to the league's head coaches and sports information directors. The league released its poll for this spring on Friday.
Aurora University was the pick to win the league title after gaining 16 of 24 first-place votes and 280 points. They finished just ahead of 2014 NACC Tournament Champion, Benedictine University, which gained the final eight first-place votes and 271 poll points. Both the Eagles and Spartans made the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
CUW was next in line with 228 poll points, coming in ahead of Dominican University who was slated for a fourth-place finish with 214 points. The coaches and SIDs picked the same six teams to qualify for the NACC Tournament that did in 2013 as they tabbed Concordia University Chicago (172 points) and Wisconsin Lutheran College (158) for the fifth and sixth spots.
Head coach Steve Crook led his team to a fourth-place finish in the regular season standings a year ago after posting a 17-7 NACC record. CUW returns both of its top two pitchers this season in senior Jamie Schuh (Freedom, Wis.) and sophomore Melissa Perkins (Park Forest, Ill.). In addition the Falcons return Second Team All-NACC selection Mariah Giesseman (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.).
The bottom half of the poll began with Marian University who gained 123 points. Edgewood College (116) was picked for eighth, while Lakeland College (111) was next just ahead of Alverno College (110). Rockford University (49) and MSOE (40) rounded out the poll.
The NACC's regular season standings determine the teams that qualify for the six-team conference tournament, scheduled to be played at Alverno Field in Milwaukee. The tournament champion receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
2014 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' and SIDs' Poll
1. Aurora (16), 280
2. Benedictine (8), 271
3. Concordia Wisconsin, 228
4. Dominican, 214
5. Concordia Chicago, 172
6. Wisconsin Lutheran, 158
7. Marian, 123
8. Edgewood, 116
9. Lakeland, 111
10. Alverno, 110
11. Rockford, 49
12. MSOE, 40