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February 16, 2011

2011 Season - Augustana CCIW softball favorite

First team All-CCIW third baseman Stephanie Sarb should be a key performer both at the plate and in the field for Augustana this season. The Vikings were pegged by the CCIW coaches as the league favorite this year.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -Despite losing six key contributors from last year's NCAA tournament qualifier to graduation and another to injury, coach Kris Kistler's Augustana Vikings have been selected as the favorite to win the CCIW in 2011 according to a poll of the league's coaches. The Vikings totaled 44 points, including three first-place votes to edge North Central, who was pegged for second with 43 votes and a pair of first-place votes. Defending conference tournament champ Illinois Wesleyan was a close third, garnering 41 points and the remaining three first-place votes.

 Kistler will be attempting to replace five players who earned either first or second team All-CCIW recognition in their careers, including 2010 conference Player of the Year and Augustana career home run leader, Karlee Quaritsch. Last year the Vikings finished 31-15 overall, 8-6 in the CCIW, second in the conference tournament and reached the NCAA tournament. They return top pitcher Sheldon Ritzheimer (Wesclin HS, Trenton, Ill.) and All-CCIW performers Stephanie Sarb (Lisle HS, Lisle, Ill.)-a first team selection at third base, and Melissa Nelson (West Aurora HS, Aurora, Ill.)-a second team pick in left field, as well as several other key contributors. Kistler also brought in an outstanding freshman class.

 Elmhurst, with 28 points, was tabbed for fourth in the poll, while defending regular season champ Carthage was fifth with 24 points. Millikin and Wheaton tied for sixth with 18 points and North Park was picked eighth with 8.

 

Rank

Team

Points

First Place Votes

1

AUGUSTANA

44

3

2

North Central

43

2

3

Illinois Wesleyan

41

3

4

Elmhurst

28

 

5

Carthage

24

 

T-6

Millikin

18

 

T-6

Wheaton

18

 

8

North Park

8