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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