Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan softball team finished third in the Mid-American Conference West Division in a poll of league coaches.
The Chippewas, the defending MAC regular-season champions, received five first-place votes and 53 points.
Northern Illinois, with 60 points and four first-place votes, finished atop the West in the poll. Ball State, with 55 points and two first-place votes, was second. Western Michigan was picked to finish fourth, followed by Toledo and Eastern Michigan.
Kent State finished first in the East Division poll with 62 points and six first-place votes. Ohio, with 58 and three first-place votes, was second. Miami (Ohio) was third, followed by Akron, Bowling Green and Buffalo.
Kent State received a league-high three votes to win the league tournament.
The Chippewas, who finished 37-15 in 2017, are scheduled to open the season at 10 a.m. today with a game against Morehead State at the Mercer Invitational in Macon, Ga. They are slated to play Appalachian State at 7:15 p.m.
CMU opens MAC play with a three-game series at Ohio beginning on March 23, and its home opener is a doubleheader scheduled for March 27 against Valparaiso.