Cal Ranked No. 7 in ESPN.com/USA SOFTBALL PRE-SEASON POLL

Jan. 24, 2006

The 2006 California softball team is ranked No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball pre-season poll released Tuesday. Five other Pac-10 programs are ranked in the Top 25.

UCLA, which was runner-up at the Women's College World Series in 2005, enters the season at No. 2 followed by Stanford (No. 9), Oregon State (No. 12) and Washington (No. 14). Oregon and Arizona State also received votes in the poll, which is voted on by NCAA Division I coaches representing 15 different Amateur Softball Association regions and 11 different collegiate conferences.

The Golden Bears return two-time All-American pitcher Kristina Thorson as well as fellow seniors Lindsay James (left field), Haley Woods (catcher) and Emily Friedman (infield/designated player). James and Woods earned Pacific Region and Pac-10 honors last season.

Cal opened the 2005 season as the No. 1 team in the nation. Last year, the Bears finished with a 52-15 record, advancing to the WCWS for the seventh consecutive year. It was the 10th overall appearance for Cal in the WCWS. The Bears took home a share of the Pac-10 title for the first time since 1987.

Cal opens its season at the Campbell/Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State from Feb. 10-12.

2006 ESPN.com/USA Softball Pre-Season PollRank	Team		2005 Record	Totals  
1. Michigan (16) 65-7 494
2. UCLA (3) 40-20 468
3. Tennessee 67-15 437
4. Texas (1) 49-13 436
5. Arizona 45-12 421
6. Texas A&M 52-15 391
7. California 63-15 381
8. Alabama 43-16 357
9. Stanford 47-10 352
10. Baylor 55-15 292
11. Georgia 45-21 272
12. Oregon State 54-17 259
13. Oklahoma 51-14 255
14. Washington 43-16 206
15. Northwestern 43-12 195
16. DePaul 42-18 173
17. Fresno State 35-22 145
18. Missouri 44-15 126
19. Iowa 51-10 125
20. Auburn 50-13 112
21. La.-Lafayette 49-14 106
22. Nebraska 50-17 92
23. Florida 49-19 68
24. Georgia Tech 47-14 57
25. BYU 36-23 56
Parentheses denotes first place votes.
Others receiving votes: Fullerton (40), LSU (38), Florida State (22), Southern Illinois (16), Oregon (13), Notre Dame (12), Virginia Tech (11), UNLV (11), Arizona State (10), Bethune Cookman (9), Long Beach State (8), Pacific (7), Oklahoma State (5), South Florida (5), NC State (5), Kansas (3), Louisville (3), Hofstra (2), Wichita State (2) and North Carolina (1).
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