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Defending National Champion California Baptist No. 1 in NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion California Baptist has been tabbed as the No. 1 team in the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll, the NAIA announced Tuesday. The Lancers were the unanimous pick, earning all 23 first-place votes and tallying 653 points. Dickinson State (N.D.) is listed second with 629 points. Oklahoma City and Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) are tied for third with 594 points and Lubbock Christian rounds out the top-five teams with 549 points. 

No. 1 California Baptist returns 12 starters from its 2009 national championship team, including 2009 NAIA Pitcher of the Year, Tory Ferreira. Ferreira became the first pitcher in NAIA history to go undefeated and have at least 20 wins, as a freshman. The 2009 NAIA National Championship MVP Ashley Boyd returns for her senior season. The senior shortstop set school single-season records for home runs (16), hits (100), runs scored (82) and total bases (178). The Lancers finished last season with a school record 61 wins, on their way to winning the school’s first softball championship. 

No. 22 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 23 Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.) and No. 25 McKendree (Ill.) all make an appearance in the poll after finishing the 2009 season unranked. 

Four conferences, Golden State Athletic Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference, Southern States Athletic Conference and Association of Independent Institutions, each have three teams listed in the initial poll for the 2010 season. 

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences. The first regular-season poll will be announced on March 23. 

To view the entire NAIA Preseason Top 25 poll, click here

- From the NAIA website