|School||(1st)||Pts.||2009 Overall||2009 NWC|
|Pacific Lutheran University||43||18-22||16-12|
|University of Puget Sound||23||16-24||10-17|
|George Fox University||15||5-32||3-23|
|Lewis & Clark College||9||4-36||3-25|
(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).
Lucky Number Seven for Linfield in NWC Softball Poll
Spokane, Wash. - Linfield College is a heavy favorite to claim its seventh consecutive Northwest Conference softball title, according to the 2010 preseason poll of conference coaches.
Linfield picked up seven first place votes and 70 points in the poll to outdistance Willamette University. Sophomore infielder Staci Doucette was the NWC Player of the Year as a freshman and returns to lead the Wildcats. Four other First Team All-NWC position players, all of whom were freshmen or sophomores last spring, return for six-time NWC Coach of the Year Jackson Vaughan.
Willamette University is second in the poll with 55 points and the remaining first place vote. Sophomores Alex Watilo, a pitcher, and Mica Romero, an infielder, return after earning First Team All-Conference honors as freshman last season.
Pacific University is third in the poll with 47 points. Miranda McNealy, one of the top starting pitchers in the NWC for the last three years, returns to lead the Boxers.
Pacific Lutheran University was close behind Pacific at fourth in the poll with 43 points. The Lutes return first team All-NWC infielder Caitlin Brown, a junior.
Whitworth is fifth in the poll (33 points). The Pirates welcome back senior outfielder Lacey Kerr, a First Team All-Conference choice last spring.
The University of Puget Sound is sixth in the poll with 23 points. Sophomore Aryn Grause is the leading returnee for the Loggers.
George Fox University was seventh (15 points) and Lewis & Clark was eighth (11 points).
The NWC will begin conference play the weekend of March 6-7.