Valley City State (N.D.) was the North Star Athletic Association softball coaches’ favorite to repeat the league title, the 2020 softball preseason poll was announced Monday afternoon by the conference office.
The Vikings collected four first-place votes and tallied 59 points to claim the top spot in the preseason poll. VCSU had a historic 2019 season with an astounding 54-5 overall record, which include a trip to the NAIA World Series. Valley City State breezed through the North Star conference season with an impressive 26-2 record and rolled to their conference postseason tournament title.
Bellevue (Neb.) picked up three first-place votes and earned 57 points to place second. The Bruins also qualified for the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round, falling short to Houston-Victoria (Texas) and Avila (Mo.). BU finished their 2019 season with an overall record of 44-20 and 23-5 record in NSAA.
Mayville State (N.D.) recorded its final first-place vote and totaled 49 points to finish third. Dickinson State (N.D.) was tabbed to finish fourth with 43 points.
Viterbo (Wis.) edged Waldorf (Iowa) 28-26 to secure the No. 5 spot in the coaches’ preseason poll. Dakota State was seventh with 17 points, followed by Presentation (S.D.) eighth with nine points.
Points were awarded on an 8-1 basis in the conference coaches’ preseason poll.
The North Star conference softball season officially starts on March 14-15 between Dickinson State and Waldorf in Tucson, Ariz. with a four-game series. The rest of the NSAA conference members will start league play on March 21-22 (schedule: Presentation at Viterbo; Dakota State at Valley City State and Bellevue at Mayville State).
Most of the softball conference schedule will be played on the weekend (Saturday-Sunday) with a four-game series. The traveling partners (BU-DaSU, VU-WU, DiSU-PC and VCSU-MSU) will play a doubleheader on the middle of the week during the regular-season.
The NSAA Softball conference tournament will be held in Valley City, N.D. on April 30 through May 3.
There is one automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening round, with 10 different sites with four teams each competing in a double-elimination tournament on May 11-13. The winner of the postseason conference tournament will earn the automatic bid to the national tournament.
The NAIA Softball World Series take place in Columbus, Ga. on May 21-27.
Below is the complete 2019 NSAA Softball Coaches’ Preseason Poll:
2020 North Star Athletic Association Softball Preseason Poll
Rank School Points
1 Valley City State (N.D.) (4) 59
2 Bellevue (Neb.) (3) 57
3 Mayville State (N.D.) (1) 49
4 Dickinson State (N.D.) 43
5 Viterbo (Wis.) 28
6 Waldorf (Iowa) 26
7 Dakota State (S.D.) 17
8 Presentation (S.D.) 9
*First-place votes in parenthesis