Huskies Ranked 11th In ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Poll

Jan. 31, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The University of Washington softball team is ranked 11th in the preseason edition of the 2006 ESPN.com /USA Softball Top 25 Collegiate Poll. The Huskies, who finished the 2005 season ranked 14th, make their season debut in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Feb. 9-11 at the Mustang Classic hosted by Cal Poly.

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 have made two consecutive appearances in the NCAA Super Regional and hope to get over the hump this spring and make it back to the Women's College World Series for the first time since 2004.

Defending NCAA Champion Arizona received top billing after picking up 483 points, including 13 first-place votes. Tennessee is ranked second, followed by No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Northwestern and No. 5 Arizona State.

Three more Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-10, including No. 6 Oregon State, No. 9 Stanford and No. 10 California.

By Conference, the Pac-10 leads the way with seven of its eight schools ranked in the Top 25 and five of the seven ranked in the top 10. The Big XII is represented by five schools and has Oklahoma and Texas representing in the Top 10. The SEC has four representatives with two from the East (Georgia and Tennessee) and two from the West (LSU and Alabama). The ACC and Big 10 each have two schools in the preseason poll.

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll is voted on by NCAA Division I coaches representing 15 different ASA regions and 11 different collegiate conferences. The poll is also voted on by selected softball media members. First-place votes are in parentheses.

1. Arizona, 483 points2. Tennessee, 4763. UCLA, 4604. Northwestern, 4485. Arizona State, 4146. Oregon State, 3907. LSU, 3568. Alabama, 3439. Stanford, 32010. California, 30911. Washington, 26112. Georgia, 25513. Michigan, 25014. Texas A&M, 23915. Nebraska, 21716. Oklahoma, 18317. ULL, 15118. Baylor, 14618. Texas, 14620. Fresno State, 12021. Louisville, 11322. NC State, 8423. South Florida, 6924. UMass, 4925. Florida State, 24

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