NIU women’s softball places 10th in MAC preseason poll


Marco Sotelo Avila

Junior Emily Dato pitches during the Huskie’s first game against Bradley University softball in Sept. 2022. This game was a double header, and the team’s fifth game of the fall season. (Marco Sotelo Avila | Northern Star)

By Jermel Williams, Sports Reporter

DeKalb –The start of softball season is approaching, and the annual Mid-American Conference Softball Preseason Coaches ranking poll was announced Thursday. NIU women’s softball accumulated 34 voter points and was picked to finish 10th place in the conference, the University of Toledo being the only team ranked below them. 

Miami University led the voter poll with 120 points along with 10 first-place votes. Central Michigan had one first-place vote along with 109 voter points. They were picked to finish second in the MAC. Ohio finished third in voting with 90 points. 

The Huskies have 11 freshmen join the team this off-season and 13 returning players. 

Women’s softball has high expectations for the team this upcoming season.

“I don’t want to say anything short of a MAC Championship is going to be a success for them because I don’t think that’s the case with this group,” head coach Christina Sutcliffe said. “They’re focused on winning, flipping the script of where we’ve been since COVID, and getting back on track.”

NIU season starts Friday, with a doubleheader at the San Diego State Tournament. In San Diego, California. The first game will be at 11 a.m. where they will compete against Memphis University. The second game will be at 4 p.m. where they will compete against No. 22-ranked Arizona State. View live stats on Statbroadcast.