Linfield tops preseason poll
2011 runner-up Christopher-Newport ranked No. 3
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After going wire-to-wire and dominating its way to a national championship, Linfield unsurprisingly received all eight first place votes to take the tops spot in the preseason NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll. Linfield finished 51-3, cruising through NCAA regionals and then battling back from the loser's bracket on its way to the program's second title.
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|4||East. Connecticut St.||163|
Texas-Tyler begins 2012 in the No. 2 spot after going 40-13 a year ago and finishing third in the country. Christopher Newport, a program that experienced its best finish ever as national runner-up a year ago, begins at No. 3 after a 38-12 season. No. 4 Eastern Connecticut, which tied for fifth at the national championship last year, looks to improve upon that finish in three-time all-American pitcher Molly Rathbun's final year. Another national championship participant, Luther, begins the season at No. 5 after finishing 41-6 in 2011.
Cortland State, which has made national championship appearances in three of the last four years, begins this season at No. 6, while Atlantic Region powers Salisbury and Emory follow at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively. DePauw is the preseason No. 9 after finishing in a tie for fifth at the national championship, while Coe rounds out the top 10 after a 38-11 season.