The Wayne State College softball team tied for 10th in the 2023 NSIC Preseason Softball Coaches’ Poll released Wednesday morning by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. The ‘Cats collected 87 points in voting by league coaches and are returning six position starters and four pitchers from last year’s team that was 10th in the NSIC at 15-38 overall and 12-18 in league play.
Defending NSIC regular season and tournament champion Augustana was voted the team to beat in the NSIC this season receiving 10 first-place votes and 217 points. Minnesota State, an NCAA Tournament team last year, was second with 208 points and three first-place votes with St. Cloud State and Winona State tied for third with 187 points. Rounding out the top five is Minnesota Duluth with 181 points.
Concordia-St. Paul came in sixth with 157 points followed by Southwest Minnesota State (128), Sioux Falls (127) and Minot State (90) in ninth while WSC and Upper Iowa tied for 10th at 87 points each.
Closing out the coaches’ poll were Bemidji State (66), Northern State (61), Minnesota Crookston (47), University of Mary (45) and MSU Moorhead (45).
Vidlak, from Millard North HS, was All-NSIC Second Team last season after leading WSC with a .377 batting average that included 58 hits, 15 doubles and 42 RBI while going 23-24 on stolen bases.
Lucka, a sophomore from Crown Point, Indiana, was 1-4 last season in 21 games and three starts with a 10.07 ERA in the circle for the Wildcats as a freshman.
Wayne State is scheduled to open the 2023 season on Saturday, February 18th at the Pittsburg State triangular in Kansas.
2023 NSIC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll
1. Augustana (10) 217 pts.
2. Minnesota State (3) 208 pts.
3. St. Cloud State (3) 187 pts.
3. Winona State 187 pts.
5. Minnesota Duluth 181 pts.
6. Concordia-St. Paul 157 pts.
7. Southwest Minn. State 128 pts.
8. Sioux Falls 127 pts.
9. Minot State 90 pts.
10. Upper Iowa 87 pts.
10. Wayne State 87 pts.
12. Bemidji State 66 pts.
13. Northern State 61 pts.
14. Minnesota Crookston 47 pts.
15. University of Mary 45 pts.
15. MSU Moorhead 45 pts.