1 Ball State (7)
2 Central Michigan (4)
3 Northern Illinois (1)
4 Western Michigan
5 Eastern Michigan
6 Toledo
1 Miami (5)
2 Ohio (4)
3 Kent State (3)
4 Bowling Green
5 Buffalo
6 Akron

Ball State Athletics

MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Mid-American Conference released the 2011 softball preseason poll on Tuesday, tabbing Ball State and Miami as the division favorites and Miami as the tournament favorite.

The Cardinals are led by fifth-year head coach Craig Nicholson, assistant coach Stephanie DeFeo and graduate assistant coach Lyndsay Mouse. In 2010, the Cardinals amassed an overall record of 43-16 and 17-5 mark in MAC play as they claimed the regular season co-championship, the program's second tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA championships.

The Cardinals are led by the return of four all-MAC players in seniors Lisa Rozanski, Alicia Barkley, Kate Wilczynski and junior Amanda Montalto.

Ball State opens the 2011 season against Belmont February 19 at 9 a.m. as part of the two-day Austin Peay Tournament. Catch all of the Cardinals' home games at the BSU Softball Complex, starting Thursday, March 24 at 3 p.m. against the Dayton Flyers in a double-header.