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February 13, 2013

Third-place tie predicted for Vikings in CCIW

Coach Kris Kistler's Augustana softball team finished in a third-place tie in the CCIW pre-season coaches' poll.

NAPERVILLE, Ill.-Coach Kris Kistler's Augustana squad has been tabbed for a third-place tie in this year's College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin softball race according to a pre-season poll of the league's coaches. Illinois Wesleyan and Carthage, which shared the CCIW title in 2012, were picked first and second respectively, with 46 and 44 points. The Titans garnered six first-place votes, with the Lady Reds receiving the other two.

The Vikings totaled 33 points, tying them with North Central in the poll. Augustana, which finished 25-13 last year and in fifth place in the CCIW at 6-8, welcomes pitching ace Sarah Hintz (Le Roy HS, Le Roy, Ill.). The junior right-hander is already a two-time team MVP. Leading six returning position starters is junior shortstop Krista Watson (Coal City HS, Coal City, Ill.), who set a school record with 18 doubles last season. Watson was a second team all-conference and third team all-region selection in 2012 after earning first team All-CCIW honors as a freshman.  

After Illinois Wesleyan (39-8 overall and 11-3 in the CCIW in 2012), Carthage (27-10, 11-3), Augustana and North Central (21-18, 5-9) in the poll, came Millikin (23-18, 9-5), with 29 points. Elmhurst (25-16, 7-7) was sixth, with 16 points, followed by Wheaton (22-18, 4-10 - 15 points) and North Park (22-18, 3-11 - eight points).  

The Vikings open the 2013 season with a doubleheader against Ave Maria in Clermont, Florida on February 23. The team hosts the Augustana Invitational on March 29 & 30 at Green Valley Sports Complex in Moline, Illinois. Augustana's first appearance at Carver Field will be a doubleheader against North Park on April 13.  

2013 CCIW Pre-season Softball Coaches' Poll

Rank Team Points 1st Place Votes
1 Illinois Wesleyan 46 6
2 Carthage 44 2
T-3 AUGUSTANA 33
T-3 North Central 33
5 Millikin 29
6 Elmhurst 16
7 Wheaton 15
8 North Park 8