Softball Ranked Fourth In National Poll

Jan. 24, 2001

SEATTLE - The University of Washington softball team, which finished fifth in the nation last year at the College World Series, has been ranked fourth in the 2001 USA Today/NFCA preseason coaches' poll released Wednesday.

The Huskies' number four national ranking marks the 66th consecutive poll in which the team has been within the top six, dating back to the beginning of the 1996 season. Last year, the UW occupied the top spot for 12 straight weeks, including six as the unanimous selection, after being ranked second in the preseason poll. Washington has been in the top 25 every year since late in 1993, its inaugural season.

The UW, which kicks off its 2001 campaign in Phoenix, Ariz., February 9, will face 15 of the top 25 teams at least once during the regular season. Six other future Husky opponents also received votes in the poll.

UCLA, the 2000 national runner-up, tops the list with 13 of the 27 first-place votes, while fellow Pac-10 member Arizona is ranked third with four first-place votes. All eight Pac-10 schools which sponsor softball are ranked in the top 25, including Arizona State (sixth), California (seventh), Stanford (15th), Oregon State (16th) and Oregon (20th).

PLEASE SEE (http://www.nfca.org) FOR COMPLETE POLL

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