Wayne State College softball team was selected 12th with 73 points in the 2019 NSIC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll released Wednesday morning by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Senior first baseman Emily Chandler and sophomore pitcher Maddie Moser were selected as Wildcat Players to Watch in the NSIC this season.
Winona State, the defending NSIC regular season and tournament champions, were voted as the team to beat in the NSIC this season collecting 12 first-place votes and 222 points in voting conducted by league coaches. Augustana, an NCAA Tournament team one year ago, received the remaining four first-place votes and 214 points to finish second. Minnesota State edged Minnesota Duluth (180-179) with Northern State fifth in the poll at 168 points.
St. Cloud State was sixth (159) followed by Concordia-St. Paul (140), Sioux Falls (135), Minot State (105) and Southwest Minnesota State in 10th (82 pts). Upper Iowa edged Wayne State for 11th place (82-79) with University of Mary (68), Bemidji State (62), MSU Moorhead (36) and Minnesota Crookston (18) rounding out the NSIC coaches’ poll.
Wayne State returns five starters in the field along with two starting pitchers from last year’s team that was 16-29 overall and placed 11th in the NSIC with a 10-16 league mark.
Chandler, a 5-9 senior first baseman from Simi Valley, Calif. (Simi Valley HS), was selected as the Wildcat Position Player to Watch this season. She earned First Team All-NSIC honors for the second time in three seasons last year leading WSC at the plate with a .392 batting average, leading the team in RBI (43) while tied for the team lead in hits (60) and ranking second in home runs with seven.
Moser, a 5-9 right hander from Central City (Central City HS), was tabbed the Wildcat Pitcher to Watch this season after recording a 6-11 record with a 6.02 ERA last season as a freshman. In 21 starts, Moser had five complete games with one shutout and also recorded one save while leading the team in strikeouts (52).
Wayne State is scheduled to open the 2019 season on Friday, February 15th at the Arkansas Monticello/8-State Classic in Bentonville, Arkansas playing Missouri Western and Mississippi College.