Softball Starts Its 2002 Season Ranked Ninth In The NFCA Preseason National Poll

Jan. 23, 2002

SEATTLE - The University of Washington softball team, which finished last season at the No. 13 spot, has been ranked ninth in the 2002 USA Today/NFCA Preseason Coaches' Poll released Wednesday by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).

The Huskies' No. 9 national ranking marks the seventh straight year in which the UW has started the season in the top 10. A year ago, the team maintained a top 15 ranking throughout the entire season, extending the Huskies' streak of appearances in the national top 25 to 96 consecutive poll datings entering 2002. Washington has been in the top 25 every year since late in 1993, its inaugural season.

The UW, which kicks off its 2002 campaign in Los Angeles, Calif., February 1, will face 12 of the top 25 teams at least once during the regular season. Three other future Husky opponents also received votes in the poll.

Arizona, the 2001 national champions, tops the list with 20 of the 27 first-place votes, while fellow Pac-10 member UCLA is ranked second with seven first-place votes. Seven of the eight Pac-10 schools which sponsor softball are ranked in the top 25, including Stanford (No. 3), California (No. 5), Arizona State (No. 8) and Oregon State (No. 18).

The USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I Top 25 is voted on by 27 NCAA Division I coaches representing all Division I conferences and independents. First-place votes are in parentheses.

                                2001           2001 Final     School                    Record     Pts.  Ranking1.   Arizona (20)               65-4      668      12.   UCLA (7)                   60-6      655      23.   Stanford                   54-16-1   604      3 (tie)4.   LSU                        59-11     591      3 (tie)5.   California                 54-17     543      66.   Iowa                       49-14     492      77.   Oklahoma                   50-9      485      58.   Arizona State              36-22     469      99.   Washington                 40-23     431     1310.  Cal State Fullerton        48-14     424     1211.  Michigan                   43-17-1   414      812.  Nebraska                   51-15     341     1413.  Alabama                    50-11     297     1014.  Notre Dame                 54-7      281     1115.  Florida State              58-12     261     1516.  Fresno State               39-19     239     2217.  Southwest Texas State      54-12     220     1618.  Oregon State               43-24     207     2019.  (tie) DePaul               51-16-1   198     19     (tie) Pacific              50-13     198     1821.  Louisiana-Lafayette        45-8      184     1722.  South Carolina             40-20-1   144     2323.  San Diego State            41-25      67     2424.  Massachusetts              44-13      59     2525.  South Florida              43-34      50     21

Others Receiving Votes: Hawaii 37, Texas 36, Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 30, Florida Atlantic 18, North Carolina 14, Cal State Northridge 12, Virginia 8, Hofstra 2. Six other teams (totaling 49 points) were listed on only one ballot and are not included among others receiving votes.

First Regular Season Poll: Wednesday, February 20.

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