Wayne St. tabbed first in NSIC
|1||Wayne State (9)||177|
|3||Winona State (3)||163|
|5||Concordia- St. Paul||126|
|7||SW Minnesota State||116|
|8||University of Mary||93|
|9||St. Cloud State||91|
Wayne State Athletics
Wayne State College was picked to finish first in the 2011 Northern Sun Conference Preseason Softball Coaches Poll released by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. It is the first time that the Wildcats have been chosen as the preseason favorite to win the NSIC. Wayne State finished the 2010 season with a record of 43-14, a new school record for wins in a season. The Wildcats, who finished the season ranked 14th in NCAA Division II, won the 2010 NSIC Softball Tournament and captured the NCAA Division II Central Region title before falling at No. 4 Metro State in the NCAA Division II Super Regionals in Denver.
Wayne State received nine first place votes and 177 total points in Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Augustana was right behind in second with two first place votes and 168 points followed by Winona State in third with 163 points and the remaining three first place votes. Minnesota State was fourth at 147 points and Concordia- St. Paul fifth with 126 points.
Rounding out the 2011 NSIC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll are Minnesota Duluth in sixth with 120 points followed by Southwest Minnesota State (116), University of Mary (93), St. Cloud State (91) and Upper Iowa (77) in the top 10. Northern State (57), MSU Moorhead (52) and Bemidji State (38) and Minnesota, Crookston (31) round out the coaches poll.
Wayne State senior pitcher Katie Goetzinger was named the 2011 NSIC Preseason Pitcher of the Year. The Harlan, Iowa native was named 2010 NSIC Pitcher of the Year after going 32-10 with a 1.11 ERA during the season. Goetzinger threw 264.1 innings and had 358 strikeouts, the second most in NCAA Division II. Goetzinger made 45 appearances with 34 starts, 25 complete games and 11 shutouts. Goetzinger was voted First Team All-Central Region by Daktronics and NFCA and was later selected Third Team All-American by Louisville Slugger/NFCA. Goetzinger was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team and was voted Second Team Academic All-American from ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA.
Another player to watch for Wayne State this season is senior catcher Sam Earleywine. The Sergeant Bluff, Iowa native was selected Second Team All-NSIC Catcher after leading WSC with a .378 average starting all 57 games. Earleywine recorded nine homers and 36 RBIs. Earleywine led the NSIC and ranked eighth in NCAA Division II in on base percentage (.551) and also ranked 10th nationally in hit by pitch per game (.28) and was 19th nationally in walks (39).
Wayne State is scheduled to open the 2011 season on February 18th when the Wildcats face Regis of Colorado in a non-conference double-header in Denver, Colo.