Whitworth, which returns a majority of its starters from a year ago, was picked in the Northwest Conference softball coaches preseason poll to repeat its 2012 fifth-place finish.
The Pirates, coming off a 19-21 season, 12-16 in NWC play, received 24 points.
Defending NCAA Division III champion Pacific Lutheran received five first-place votes and edged nine-time defending NWC champion Linfield 52-48 in the coaches’ poll to finish first. PLU beat Linfield 3-0 for the 2012 national title.
Mullan 43, Kootenai 36: Kami McKinnon had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Tigers (7-7, 3-3), who broke open a tight North Star League game with a 17-point fourth quarter. Sydney Koening had 18 rebounds for Mullan.
Kaylee Carman and Ellison Schultz had eight points each for visiting Kootenai (2-15, 0-4).
Coeur d’Alene Charter 47, Wallace 27: Lexi Turkenburg had 24 points, nine rebounds, eight steals and four assists to lead the Panthers (15-3) to the nonleague win at home. Anna Verhaeghe added 15 points, six boards and six steals for CdA Charter, which also received eight points, nine boards and seven blocked shots from Jacklyn Jensen.
Emily Nelson scored 10 points for Wallace (8-8).