Softball Ranked No. 3 In USA Today/NFCA Preseason Top-25

Jan. 23, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford University softball checks in at No. 3 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Preseason Top 25 Poll released this morning, as voted by 27 Division I softball coaches representing all areas around the country.

The Cardinal will battle 11 teams this season currently ranked in the top-25, while competing in arguably the strongest conference in the country. Five other Pac-10 schools are ranked in the nation's top-10, with defending champion Arizona edging UCLA for the top spot in the poll. No. 5 California, No. 8 Arizona State and No. 9 Washington are also ranked in the top-10, with Oregon State at No. 18. Stanford's non-conference schedule also features No. 10 Cal State Fullerton, No. 16 Fresno State, No. 19 Pacific, No. 23 San Diego State and No. 24 Massachusetts.

Stanford took a giant step forward last season in solidifying their status as perennial national championship contenders. The 2001 squad recorded the best single-season in Cardinal softball history, finishing with a program-best 54-16-1 overall record and making its first appearance at the Women's College World Series, where they finished 2-2. Stanford closed out the season ranked third in the nation and spent five weeks at No. 3, which represented the highest ranking in school history. The women advanced to Oklahoma City by going 4-1 at the Stanford Regional, the first time an NCAA Regional had been played on The Farm.

Leading the Cardinal in 2002, will be returning First Team All-American selections Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.), Sarah Beeson (Tucson, Ari.) and Dana Sorensen (San Diego, Calif.)

Stanford will open its season with a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 2, at home against geographical rival Santa Clara at 12 p.m. The Cardinal are then on the road for the next four weeks, competing in four of the nation's most prestigious tournaments: The Campbell/Cartier Classic (Feb. 15-17), NFCA Leadoff Classic (Feb. 22-24), Red Desert Classic (Mar. 1-3) and Speedline Invitational (Mar. 7-10).



























Rk. School '01 Record Pts. '01 Rank
1. Arizona(20) 65-4 668 1
2. UCLA(7) 60-6 655 2
3. Stanford 54-16-1 604 3 (tie)
4. LSU 59-11 591 3 (tie)
5. California 54-17 543 6
6. Iowa 49-14 492 7
7. Oklahoma 50-9 485 5
8. ArizonaState 36-22 469 9
9. Washington 40-23 431 13
10. CalStateFullerton 48-14 424 12
11. Michigan 43-17-1 414 8
12. Nebraska 51-15 341 14
13. Alabama 50-11 297 10
14. NotreDame 54-7 281 11
15. Florida

State

58-12 261 15
16. FresnoState 39-19 239 22
17. SouthwestTexas State 54-12 220 16
18. OregonState 43-24 207 20
19. DePaul 51-16-1 198 19
Pacific 50-13 198 18
21. Louisiana-Lafayette 51-10 184 17
22. SouthCarolina 40-20-1 144 23
23. SanDiegoState 41-25 67 24
24. Massachusetts 44-13 59 25
25. SouthFlorida 43-34 50 21

Others Receiving Votes: Hawaii 37, Texas 36, Ohio State 31,Wisconsin30, Florida Atlantic 18, North Carolina 14, Cal State Northridge 12,Virginia 8, Hofstra 2. Six other teams (totaling 49 points) were listedononly one ballot and are not included among others receiving votes.

First Regular Season Poll: Wednesday, February 20.


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