Central College is 12th in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s preseason top 25 softball coaches’ poll. The Dutch return six position starters and two pitchers from last year’s 39-9 club that shared the program’s 11th Iowa Conference championship and gained a record 23rd NCAA Division III tournament berth, finishing second in regional play.
Defending national champion Linfield College is a unanimous choice for the No. 1 spot, followed by Texas-Tyler. Central is among three conference schools in the rankings. Luther College is No. 5 and Coe College is No. 10. Central opens the 2012 campaign with 16 games in the Tucson Invitational Games March 9-17.