California Tops Preseason Pac-10 Coaches Poll

Jan. 18, 2005

BERKELEY -

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The California softball program, which returns eight starters from last season's Women's College World Series runner-up squad, was selected as the Pac-10 Conference's No. 1 team in a preseason poll conducted among conference coaches.

The Bears garnered 44 points to squeeze past Arizona by one point. Two-time defending WCWS champion UCLA (42) came in third. Both the Bears and Bruins received three first-place votes while the Wildcats garnered two first-place votes.

'This is a tribute to our players and the dedication and hard work they put in,' California head coach Diane Ninemire said. 'It's an honor but you still have to go out on the field and earn it. The Pac-10 will be tough as always and below us there's five other teams knocking on the door.'

Stanford accumulated 30 points to finish fourth followed by No. 5 Oregon (22), No. 6 Washington (21), No. 7 Oregon State (12) and No. 8 Arizona State (10).

In 2004, seven of the conference's eight teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament and ranked in the Top-15 in the USA Today/NFCA Poll.

The Golden Bears open the 2005 season against San Jose State on Feb. 5. First pitch at Levine-Fricke in Berkeley is scheduled for 12 noon. Pac-10 play gets underway April 1 when Cal visits Arizona State.

2005 Pac-10 Conference Softball Coaches' Preseason Poll

School (First Place Votes) Points1. California (3) 442. Arizona (2) 433. UCLA (3) 424. Stanford 305. Oregon 226. Washington 217. Oregon State 128. Arizona State 10

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