WAUKESHA, Wis. - The Concordia University Wisconsin Softball team has been tabbed for a fourth-place finish in the NACC in 2017, according to the preseason poll voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
CUW, which is coming off a 26-17 season in 2016, including a 15-7 conference record. The Falcons lost just one senior due to graduation, although it was the program's all-time winningest pitcher in Melissa Perkins. Still, CUW returns plenty to be a factor near the top of the NACC standings again this spring.
Aurora was polled as the league favorites once again as the Spartans will aim for a fifth straight regular-season title this spring. Aurora received 13 first-place votes and 277 poll points, coming in just ahead of Benedictine who received the other 11 first-place votes and 272 points. Dominican (227) was third, just ahead of the Falcons (222).
Lakeland (180) and Concordia Chicago were slotted for fifth and sixth in the preseason poll. The top six teams from the NACC regular season will qualify for the conference tournament.
Marian (133) was picked seventh and was followed by Wisconsin Lutheran (125) and Alverno (84). MSOE (76), Edgewood (73) and Rockford (27) rounded out the poll.
The Falcons will begin their season one month from today with a trip to Marquette, Michigan for the Finlandia Dome Tournament. CUW will play two games on both February 25 and 26, beginning with a matchup against UW-Oshkosh. CUW will open conference play on March 30 at Dominican.
2017 NACC Preseason Poll
Aurora (13), 277
Benedictine (11), 272
Concordia Wisconsin, 222
Concordia Chicago, 176
Wisconsin Lutheran, 125
First-place votes in parentheses