The Wayne State College softball team was listed 14th with 51 points in the 2018 Preseason NSIC Softball Coaches Poll released Wednesday afternoon by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Senior catcher Katelyn Wobken and junior pitcher Riley Vanderveen were selected as Wildcat Players to Watch in the NSIC this season.
Winona State was voted the team to beat this season in the NSIC, receiving 11 first-place votes and 221 points in voting conducted by league coaches. Augustana was second with 206 points and two first-place votes with defending NSIC regular season, tournament and NCAA Division II national champion Minnesota State in third at 202 points and the remaining three first-place votes. Minnesota Duluth (183 pts) and Sioux Falls (157) closed out the top five teams.
St. Cloud State was sixth with 146 points followed by Northern State (119), Southwest Minnesota State (108) and Concordia-St. Paul and University of Mary tied for ninth with 102 points.
Wobken, a 5-7 senior catcher from Scribner (Scribner-Snyder HS), was a Second Team All-NSIC selection last season after leading the Wildcats in most offensive categories. She posted a .331 average with 56 hits, 32 runs scored, five homers and 21 RBI’s while leading the team in stolen bases going 13 of 14.
Vanderveen, a 5-9 junior pitcher from Sedro-Wooley, Washington (Burlington-Edison HS), is the top returning pitcher for the Wildcats. She worked 101 innings last season and had four complete games in 17 starts, recording two saves and a 6.03 ERA.
The Wildcats finished the 2017 season with a record of 11-39 overall and 5-21 in the NSIC. The Wildcats return six starters and two pitchers to this year’s team.
Wayne State is scheduled to open the 2018 season on Friday, February 16th at the Arkansas Monticello/8-State Classic in Bentonville, Arkansas playing Nebraska-Kearney and Missouri Western.