Dickinson State tabs as 2017 North Star Softball conference favorite

Dickinson State tabs as 2017 North Star Softball conference favorite

MADISON, S.D. – Dickinson State (N.D.) totaled 76 points and seven first-place votes and is the preseason coaches' pick to win the 2017 North Star Athletic Association Softball title, the preseason coaches' poll was announced Monday.

The Blue Hawks won both the North Star conference regular-season and postseason conference tournament, before falling short in the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round's double-elimination tournament last season.  DSU finished the 2016 season with an overall record of 45-12 and 19-3 record in North Star conference play.  Dickinson State is ranked No. 21 in the NAIA Softball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 national poll.

Valley City State (N.D.), who finished as runner-up in the NSAA Softball Postseason Conference Tournament in 2016, picked up a first-place vote and tallied 69 points to finish second in the preseason poll.  The Vikings also received votes' recognition in the preseason national poll.

Bellevue (Neb.) recorded its final first-place votes and registered 67 points for a third-place finish in the coaches' preseason poll.  Jamestown (N.D.) was picked to finish fourth with 58 points, followed by Presentation (S.D.) fifth with 42 points and Waldorf (Iowa) sixth with 37 points.

Mayville State (N.D.) collected 27 points to finish seventh.  Dakota State (S.D.) edged Viterbo (Wis.) 15-14 for an eighth-place finish.

There will be a North Star Athletic Association 'Cross-Over' Tournament on the weekend of Feb. 24-26 at Presentation (S.D.) Dome in Aberdeen, S.D.  All nine NSAA teams are scheduled on the three-day event.

The NSAA conference will be in full swing on the final weekend of March with Presentation at Bellevue; Mayville State at Valley City State, Jamestown at Waldorf and Dakota State at Viterbo.  Dickinson State will be in full slate of NSAA conference play, starting on April 1-2 versus Jamestown.

The North Star Athletic Association Softball Conference Tournament will be hosted by Dickinson State on May 5-8 in Dickinson, N.D.

There is one automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening round, with 10 different sites with four teams each competing in a double-elimination tournament on May 15-17.  The winner of the postseason conference tournament will earn the automatic bid to the national tournament.

The NAIA Softball World Series take place in Clermont, Fla. on May 26 through June 1.

Below is the complete 2017 NSAA Softball Coaches' Preseason Poll:

2017 North Star Athletic Association Softball Preseason Poll





Dickinson State (N.D.) (7)



Valley City State (N.D.) (1)



Bellevue (Neb.) (1)



Jamestown (N.D.)



Presentation (S.D.)



Waldorf (Iowa)



Mayville State (N.D.)



Dakota State (S.D.)



Viterbo (Wis.)


*First-place votes in parenthesis

Nick Huntimer, North Star Athletic Association Sports Information Director