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Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference Preseason Poll

The best race in Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference (NAIA) softball this spring will be for second place according to league head coaches who have made Northwestern (IA) a unanimous choice to claim the NIAC championship.

The Red Raiders received all seven first-place votes and are picked to repeat as regular-season champions of the NIAC. Northwestern, which went 16-2 in conference play last season to win the NIAC crown by four games, totaled the maximum 49 points in the pre-season coaches' poll.

Doane (NE), runner-up in the conference a year ago, is tabbed to finish second again by the slimmest of margins over Dana (NE), which won the NIAC post-season tournament in 1999. Doane finished with 33 points in the poll and Dana finished with 32.

Concordia (NE) is picked for fourth place in NIAC softball with 29 points and Midland Lutheran (NE) is tabbed for fifth with 24 points. Hastings (NE)(18 points) and Nebraska Wesleyan (11 points) round out the poll.