Softball Ranked 12th In USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Poll

Jan. 24, 2007

SEATTLE-- The Washington softball team earned the No. 12 ranking in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason top-25 poll. The Huskies return eight starters from the 2006 squad, including All-Americans Dominique Lastrapes and Ashley Charters. Last season, Washington fell two wins shy of advancing to the program's eighth Women's College World Series, losing to third-ranked Texas in Austin.

The Huskies are one of seven Pac-10 teams ranked in the top 25, including No. 1 Arizona, No. 3 UCLA, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 6 Oregon State, No. 8 Stanford and No. 10 California.

Washington will endure a tough tournament schedule to open the year, facing six ranked opponents and two others that received votes.

The Huskies will open the season at the Mustang Classic in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where they will face host Cal Poly, Santa Clara and Sacramento State.

Washington will face its first ranked opponents the next weekend when it travels to Tampa. Fla., Feb. 17-19, to play in the South Florida Tournament. Three of the teams the Huskies will take on are mentioned in the preseason poll, including host and No. 22 South Florida, No. 25 Florida State and Hofstra, who received votes.

Washington will then travel to Cathedral City, Calif., Feb. 22-25, to take part in the prestigious Palm Springs Classic. The Huskies are in the same pool as No. 17 Texas, the team that knocked them out of the postseason last spring.

UW will open the home season, Mar. 2-4 when it hosts three schools in the Husky Classic, including No. 9 LSU, Portland State and North Dakota State.

The Dawgs will participate in the Big 12/Pac-10 Challenge the next week, Mar. 9-11 and are pooled with Texas Tech and Missouri.

Washington will wrap-up the tournament portion of its schedule at the Judi Garman Classic, Mar. 15-18, in Fullerton, Calif. The Huskies will face two top-25 opponents in No. 11 Michigan and No. 25 Florida State.

In all, Washington is scheduled to play against 11 teams ranked in the top-25, accounting for 18 games.

The Pac-10 season kicks off Mar. 30-April 1 when the Huskies host defending national champion Arizona and fifth-ranked Arizona State.

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