BURNSVILLE, MN -- The Augustana softball team is picked to finish third and the University of Sioux Falls 13th in the 2014 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Defending NSIC regular season co-champions and tournament champions Minnesota State along with Winona State were the top picks in the poll.  The Mavericks and Warriors received 209 points each with Minnesota State earning seven first place votes to Winona State's six.

The Vikings picked up 184 points and one first place vote while the Cougars earned 69 points in the coaches' voting.

Augustana's Lindsay Spanton and Jenelle Trautmann were listed as Players to Watch this season in the NSIC.  Trautmann was an NFCA and Daktronics All-America selection last season.  She tied her own school record with 18 home runs.  Trautmann led the Vikings in home runs, RBI with 48 and slugging percentage at .731 while batting .330.  She also posted a 25-11 mark and a 2.52 ERA, holding opposing batters to a .241 batting average and striking out 208 in 216.2 innings of work in 2013.  Spanton hit .275 with 41 hits, two home runs, four doubles and 17 RBI.  She had a fielding percentage of .992, recording a team-high 347 putouts and 27 assists.

The NSIC coaches named Erin Scott and Bailey Bouman as USF's Players to Watch.  Scott started 40 games in the outfield for the Cougars last season, recording a team-high 35 hits and 22 RBIs. Bouman pitched in 21 games for USF, finishing 6-10 with a 5.00 ERA.  At the plate, Bouman hit .293.

Augustana finished with an overall record of 32-17 in 2013, 17-9 in the NSIC.  The Vikings made their fourth straight and 21st overall NCAA Tournament appearance.  Augustana opens the 2014 season on Friday, taking on defending NCAA Division II National Champion Central Oklahoma in the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas.

USF went 15-27 overall and 10-18 in it's inagural season in the NSIC.  The Cougars are scheduled to open the season February 25 against Valley City State in St. Paul.

NSIC Release