The Aurora University Spartans, who received eight of 13 first place votes in the Northern Athletics Conference softball coaches'poll for 150 total points, are picked as favorites to win the 2010 NAC Championship.
Including this year's poll, Aurora has been picked first in each of the coaches' preseason polls the last four years.
The Spartans, 31-7 overall and 22-2 in NAC play last season, have been a dominating force in the conference, compiling a 66-4 record in the NAC the last three seasons. To go along with three conference championships, Aurora has also won two-of-three NAC tournaments; losing out to 6th seeded CUW last spring.
Lakeland College (30-10, 21-3) was picked second with 132 points and one first place vote in the poll. The Muskies finished just a game back of Aurora last season and took third in the NAC tournament.
Benedictine University (31-12, 20-4) was tabbed third with 124 points, just ahead of Dominican University (30-14, 16-8) which tallied 122 points and two first place votes.
Concordia University Wisconsin (25-23, 14-10), which rallied to win last year's NAC tournament as the No. 6 seed, was picked fifth with 116 points and had the remaining two first place votes.
Marian University (20-18, 16-8) had 104 poll points for sixth place while Edgewood College (19-18, 14-10) garnered 89 points for seventh, and Wisconsin Lutheran College (10-22, 8-16) 65 points for eighth place.
Concordia University Chicago (8-26, 6-17) was chosen ninth (60 points), Rockford College (17-21, 9-15) 10th (53 points), Alverno College (7-23,
5-19) 11th (37 points), MSOE (6-22, 4-20) 12th (26 points) and Maranatha Baptist (0-29, 0-23) last with 14 poll points.
The 2010 NAC Softball Tournament, which features the conference's top six teams, will take place May 6-8 at Alverno College. The tournament champion will become the conference's automatic qualifier to the 2010 NCAA III Championship which begins on Thursday, May 13 at a site to be determined.