Top-Ranked Linfield Leads NWC Softball Poll

Top-Ranked Linfield Leads NWC Softball Poll
School (1st) Pts. 2010 Overall 2010 NWC
Linfield College (8) 72 42-7 27-1
Willamette University   56 28-12 20-8
Pacific University   43 23-17 18-10
Pacific Lutheran University   38 23-15 17-11
Whitworth University   35 18-18 12-16
University of Puget Sound   24 13-27 11-17
George Fox University   19 13-27 7-21
Lewis & Clark College   9 3-36 0-28


(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).

Top-Ranked Linfield Unanimous Pick in NWC Softball Poll

Spokane, Wash. - Linfield College, ranked atop the preseason NFCA Division III coaches top-25 rating, is a unanimous pick to win its eighth straight Northwest Conference title, according to the preseason poll of NWC coaches.

Linfield head coach Jackson Vaughan returns five All-Americans, including 2010 NWC Player of the Year Staci Doucette, as well as 2010 NWC Pitcher of the Year Claire Velaski, from a team that set the NCAA Division III record by hitting 78 home runs last spring.  The Wildcats picked up all eight first place votes and the maximum of 72 points in the NWC preseason poll.

Willamette University is second in the poll with 56 points. Juniors Mica Romero, an infielder,  and Jessica Barry, an outfielder, were First Team All-NWC honorees last season.

Pacific University is third in the poll with 43 points. The Boxers may have been hit harder by graduation than the other contenders, but they do return First Team All-NWC utility/DP Chelsey Chamberlain.

Pacific Lutheran University was  fourth in the poll with 38 points. All-NWC utility/DP Stacy Hagensen will lead the Lutes.

Whitworth is fifth in the poll (35 points).  The Pirates welcome back Second Team All-NWC infielders Sami Parr and Heather Hesselgesser.

The University of Puget Sound is sixth in the poll with 24 points. Junior Aryn Grause is a First Team All-NWC returnee for the Loggers.

George Fox University was seventh (19 points) and Lewis & Clark was eighth (9 points) in the poll.

The NWC will begin conference play the weekend of February 26-27.  For the first time there will be a Northwest Conference tournament at the end of the season.