MADISON, SD (PlayNorthStar.com) – Bellevue (NE) collected seven first-place votes and 63 points to claim the top spot in the 2023 North Star Athletic Association Softball Coaches’ Preseason Poll, announced Monday by the conference office. The Bruins finished the 2022 season with an overall record of 42-13 and won the North Star Athletic Association regular-season title with an astounding 24-2 conference record.
Valley City State (ND), who defeated Bellevue in the NSAA softball postseason tournament’s second championship game last season in Watertown, S.D., picked up the final first-place vote in the preseason poll with 55 points. The Vikings were 33-18 overall record last season, dropping a pair of NAIA Softball National Tournament’s Opening Round contests.
Dickinson State (ND) placed third in the preseason poll with 47 points, followed by Dakota State (SD) fourth with 41 points. Mayville State (ND) finished fifth with 31 points, while Waldorf (Iowa) was sixth after collecting 23 points. Presentation College edged out Viterbo (WI) 15-13 for seventh place in the poll. Points were awarded on an 8-1 basis in the conference coaches’ preseason poll.
The North Star conference softball season gets underway on the weekend of March 25-26. All eight members are scheduled to play a total of 28 conference contests in the spring.
The NSAA Softball conference tournament will be held in Dickinson, N.D. on May 4-7. There is one automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening round on May 15-17. The winner of the postseason conference tournament will earn an automatic bid to the national tournament.
The NAIA Softball World Series takes place in Columbus, Ga. on May 25-31.
|2023 North Star Athletic Association Softball Preseason Poll|
|1||Bellevue (Neb.) (7)||63|
|2||Valley City State (N.D.) (1)||55|
|3||Dickinson State (N.D.)||47|
|4||Dakota State (S.D.)||41|
|5||Mayville State (N.D.)||31|
|*First-place votes in parenthesis|