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With five of the team’s top six RBI producers and the entire pitching staff returning, the Bentley University Falcons have been ranked fifth in the Northeast-10 Conference softball preseason coaches’ poll for the Northeast-10 Division.

Sophomore outfielder Lea Thompson out of Trumbull High is the returning team leader in RBI with 18. She helped Trumbull to the Class LL state championship as a senior, when she was named first-team All State.

Fourth-year head coach Terry M. Prouty graduated three players from last year’s squad that posted records of 10-11 in the NE10 Northeast Division and 15-27 overall, but has 16 returning.

Key players back are second-team All-Conference outfielder Stacey Korotsky (Raynham/ Bridgewater-Raynham HS), a junior who hit .328, junior infielder Julie Slavin (Rocky Hill/Rocky Hill HS), a .305 career hitter, and junior outfielder Juliana Romeo (Greenville, R.I./Smithfield HS) who had four home runs.

The Falcons totaled 58 points in the voting and trailed Saint Anselm (108), Southern New Hampshire (93), Merrimack (89) and Assumption (70). In the Southwest Division, Adelphi University (88) edged out Pace (83) and New Haven (77) for the top spot.

Bentley will kick off the season with a three-game series at Rollins College Feb. 9-10, the earliest start to the season in program history.

The Falcons will return to Florida for 12 games in The Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. Mar. 9-15, and will open the home schedule Mar. 26.