Four NCAA Div. III championships
PELLA — Central College is No. 11 in the NFCA Division III preseason softball rankings.
Defending Division III champion Pacific Lutheran (Wash.) is a unanimous choice for the top spot, with Montclair State (N.J.) next while Iowa Conference rival Luther College is No. 3 and Simpson College is among those receiving votes.
Central has six starters returning from last year’s club, which posted a 36-10 record, won the Iowa Conference tournament and earned its 24th NCAA Division III tournament berth. The Dutch finished the year ranked No. 9.
Preseason drills begin Friday at 5:30 a.m. for the squad, which opens the season at the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic March 8-10 in Columbus, Ga.