Stanford Nabs No. 9 Spot In ESPN/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

Jan. 27, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford softball team earned the No. 9 spot in the 2009 ESPN/USA Softball Preseason Poll poll announced USA Softball today. The Cardinal begins the season next Friday, Feb. 6, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

The Cardinal finished 2008 with a 49-15 record and advanced to its third NCAA Super Regional in four years. The team finished fourth in the competitive Pac-10 Conference and ended the year with a No. 13 ranking in the ESPN/USA Softball poll.

Stanford returns 10 letterwinners from last year's squad, including All-American outfielder Alissa Haber and All-American pitcher Missy Penna. Also returning are 2008 starters Maddy Coon, Shannon Koplitz, Rosey Neill and Melisa Koutz.

Six of the eight Pac-10 squads appeared in the poll and both Oregon schools received votes. Defending national champion Arizona State came in at No. 3, while UCLA (4) and Arizona (7) also made the top 10. California was listed at No. 14, and Washington rounded out the Pac-10 schools at No. 15. Florida, which spent much of 2008 as the top-ranked team, earned the No. 1 spot in this year's poll. Along with the two Pac-10 schools, Alabama (2) and Michigan (5) also made the top five.

Stanford earned the No. 11 spot in the preseason poll released by the NFCA last week. The Cardinal is slated to play 16 games against preseason top 25 teams this year, beginning with No. 20 Long Beach State on Feb. 13.

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