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After winning its league record fourth-straight Summit League Softball Championship, North Dakota State was voted as the preseason favorite to repeat in vote of the league's nine head coaches.
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North Dakota State Favored to Repeat as Summit League Softball Champions

Courtesy: NDSU Athletic Media Relations
Release: February 01, 2013

ELMHURST, Ill. – After winning its league record fourth-straight Summit League Softball Championship, North Dakota State was voted as the preseason favorite to repeat in vote of the league's nine head coaches.

The Bison, who became the first team since 2006 to win the regular season and tournament title in the same season, collected 64 points and eight first-place votes atop the poll.  Fort Wayne finished second with 56 points and the final first-place tally, while Western Illinois took third with 46 points.  Only two points separated Kansas City (40 points) and league newcomer Omaha (38 points) in a close race for fourth and fifth. Rounding out the poll were South Dakota (28 points), IUPUI (26 points), South Dakota State (17 points) and Oakland (nine points).

The Summit League welcomes back a total of 13 All-League selections from a year ago, including the Pitcher and Freshman of the Year.  The Mastodons return a league-high five honorees in first team selections Ashleigh Bousquet, Larissa Franklin and Miranda Kramer and second team members Alex Bousquet and Brittany Kachur.  The Bison welcome back a trio of all-leaguers led by Krista Menke, the 2012 Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, along with Amanda Grable and Whitney Johnson.  The Golden Grizzlies are the only other team to have back multiple all-league selections in Ericka Polidori and Erin Galloway.  All-League honorees also returning are Kansas City's Caitlin Christopher, South Dakota's Kassie Loe and Western Illinois' Sammy Marshall, the NCAA steals leader in 2012.

The regular season begins Feb. 8 with seven-of-nine teams competing in non-league tournaments on opening day.  Summit League play starts March 15 as six-of-nine teams go head-to-head in double headers, including Omaha's first-ever league game as it hosts North Dakota State. The top four teams in the regular season standings will compete for The Summit League Softball Championship at the Ellig Sports Complex in Fargo, N.D., May 9-11. The tournament champion earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Softball Tournament.

North Dakota State Bison (38-22 Overall, 18-6 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 7/7 | Newcomers: 9
Head Coach (Year): Darren Mueller (12th)
Key Returnees: Krista Menke, P (2nd Team NFCA All-Midwest Region, Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, 1st Team All-League, All-Tournament Team, 25-13, 2.36 ERA, 210 K); Amanda Grable, IF (1st Team All-League, .269, 9 HR, 29 RBI); Whitney Johnson, P (2nd Team All-League, All-Tournament Team, 13-9, 2.21 ERA, 175 K)

Fort Wayne Mastodons (45-14 Overall, 17-7 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 10/4 | Newcomers: 5
Head Coach (Year): Amy Tudor (4th)
Key Returnees: Alex Bousquet, SS (2nd Team NFCA All-Central Region, 2nd Team All-League, .361, 9 HR, 51 RBI); Ashleigh Bousquet, 3B (1st Team All-League, All-Tournament Team, .344, 34 R, 58 RBI); Larissa Franklin, OF (1st Team All-League, All-Tournament Team, .364, 46 R, 71 H); Miranda Kramer, P (1st Team All-League, All-Tournament Team, 16-5, 1.87 ERA, 148 K)

Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks (23-28 Overall, 13-11 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 13/3 | Newcomers: 5
Head Coach (Year): Holly Van Vlymen (8th)
Key Returnees: Sammy Marshall, SS (1st Team All-League, .420, 38 R, NCAA-leading 45 SB); Briana Williams, OF (.299, 27 R, 38 H); Hailey Bickford, P (9-13, 3.18 ERA, 94 K)

Kansas City Kangaroos (27-30 Overall, 13-11 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 9/10 | Newcomers: 10
Head Coach (Year): Meredith Smith (7th)
Key Returnees: Caitlin Christopher, C (2nd Team All-League, .270, 34 H, 19 RBI); Deanna Friese, P (13-16, 3.00 ERA, 213 K); Emily Ott, OF (.322, 38 H, 23 RBI)

Omaha Mavericks (24-18 Overall)
Letterwinners R/L: 8/7 | Newcomers: 8
Head Coach (Year): Jeanne Scarpello (14th)
Key Returnees: Amber Lutmer, DP (.333, 43 RBI, 21 R, 11 HR); Lindsay Redding, OF (.309, 22R, 5 RBI); Dana Elsasser, P (13-9, 1.07 ERA, 110 K)

South Dakota Coyotes (16-39 Overall, 12-12 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 10/5 | Newcomers: 5
Head Coach (Year): Amy Klyse (6th)
Key Returnees: Kassie Loe, IF (1st Team All-League, .259, 38 H, 15 R); Katie Dinning, OF (.284, 15 RBI, 18 R); Eric Denney, P (10-18, 3.47 ERA, 104 K)

IUPUI Jaguars (18-32 Overall, 7-14 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 13/6 | Newcomers: 6
Head Coach (Year): Amanda Rivera (1st)
Key Returnees: Kelsey Rupert, IF (.256, 32 H, 11 R); Nikki Thomas, P (8-15, 2.99 ERA, 100 K); Jocelyn Oppenhuis, P (6-13, 2.92 ERA, 107 K)

South Dakota State Jackrabbits (13-27-1 Overall, 5-16 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 15/4 | Newcomers: 3
Head Coach (Year): Kim Aggabao (2nd)
Key Returnees: Devon Reick, OF (.311, 38 H, 16 R); Alex Landon, 1B (.266, 29 H, 11 RBI); Kori Seidlitz, P (5-11, 4.66 ERA, 90 K)

Oakland Golden Grizzlies (10-38 Overall, 5-19 Summit League)
Letterwinners R/L: 12/7 | Newcomers: 8
Head Coach (Year): Connie Miner (1st)
Key Returnees: Erika Polidori, C/OF (1st Team All-League, .379, 6 HR, 17 SB, 15 RBI); Erin Galloway, IF (2nd Team All-League, .274, 9 2B, 23 RBI); Jackie Kisman, IF/OF (.305, 13 R, 13 SB)

 
 

2013 Summit League Softball Preseason Poll

Place

Team

Points (1st)

2012 Record

1.

North Dakota State

64 (8)

38-22 (18-6)

2.

Fort Wayne

56 (1)

45-14 (17-7)

3.

Western Illinois

46

23-28 (13-11)

4.

Kansas City

40

27-30 (13-11)

5.

Omaha

38

 24-18 (N/A)

6.

South Dakota

28

16-39 (12-12)

7.

IUPUI

26

18-32 (7-14)

8.

South Dakota State

17

13-27 (5-16)

9.

Oakland

9

10-38 (5-19)

 

ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Entering its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 144,000 at nine universities, four of which are located in top 58 U.S. metro populations (Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Omaha). Member institutions include: Fort Wayne (Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), Kansas City (University of Missouri-Kansas City), Omaha (University of  Nebraska Omaha), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 54 All-Americans, 37 Academic All-America selections and seven NCAA Championships. For more information about the league and its history, visit www.thesummitleague.org to "See The Summit" or follow on Twitter @thesummitleague.

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