Softball Ranked 11th in USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll
Jan. 26, 2005
SEATTLE-- The Washington softball team earned the No. 11 ranking in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason top 25 poll. The Huskies return seven starters from the 2004 squad that advanced to the Women's College World Series, including ace Ashley Boek and All-Americans Kristen Rivera and Dominique Lastrapes.
Last season, Rivera became Washington's first-ever Pac-10 Player of the Year after ranking among the leagues top three in batting average, home runs and slugging percentage. She earned the NFCA Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award for the season time and was a finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year and the Honda Award. Rivera is a three-time All-American and has been a first team pick each of the last two years.
Boek went 29-13 last season with a 1.65 earned run average. She set UW single-season records with 43 starts and 34 complete games, while her 283 strikeouts and 279.1 innings pitched rank second on the UW all-time season lists. She was a second team All-Pac-10 selection and Pac-10 All-Academic honoree.
Lastrapes hit .371 during her freshman campaign with a team-leading 75 hits and 41 runs scored. She kicked off her career with an 11-game hitting streak and set a NCAA postseason record with 10 hits in her first 10 at-bats at the NCAA Regional Tournament to earn MVP honors. She was a third team All-American at-large pick.
The Huskies are one of seven Pac-10 teams ranked in the top 25, headlined by No. 1 California, No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 Arizona. Also appearing in the poll are No. 6 Stanford, No. 13 Oregon and No. 16 Oregon State. Arizona State is the only Pac-10 school not listed among the top 25 but the Sun Devils did received 26 points to fall just seven spots out of the poll.
Washington will endure a tough tournament schedule to open the year, facing Oregon in the opening weekend of the season. The Huskies are also slated to face No. 5 LSU, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 18 Nebraska, No. 20 Long Beach State and No. 22 Illinois before heading into the Pac-10 season.
The Huskies open the season Feb. 3-6 when they take part in the Hawaii Paradise Classic in Honolulu. UW will face Jacksonville on Feb. 3 at 3:00 p.m.
The USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I Preseason Top 25 Softball Poll is voted on by 30 NCAA Division I head coaches representing each conference. Final 2004 records are shown. First-place votes are in parenthesis.
Rank Team1 California (14) 53-132 UCLA (12) 46-93 Arizona (4) 55-64 Oklahoma 45-22-15 LSU 57-126 Stanford 49-197 Georgia 55-178 Michigan 54-139 Louisiana-Lafayette 60-810 Florida State 62-1211 Washington 40-1912 Alabama 46-2013 Oregon 42-2114 Tennessee 55-1615 Texas 24-2516 Oregon State 44-2817 Baylor 48-1718 Nebraska 45-1719 Fresno State 48-2020 Long Beach State 51-1321 South Florida 60-1422 Illinois 45-21-123 Georgia Tech 47-1924 Southern Illinois 45-1725 Hofstra 38-20
Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 64, Notre Dame 60, Auburn 59, Florida 51, Florida Atlantic 45, Northwestern 41, Arizona State 26, DePaul 18, Michigan State 16, Massachusetts 13, Pacific 11, Oklahoma State 11, Iowa 11, Louisville 9, Tulsa 9, Kansas 7. 11 other teams received votes, but only appeared on one ballot.
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