Coaches Pick Stanford To Finish Fifth In The Pac-10

Jan. 28, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - The 2009 Pac-10 Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll has been released, with the Cardinal picked to finish fifth.

Stanford is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Pac-10, with a 49-15 record and an NCAA Super Regional appearance. Three Pac-10 teams return from Women's College World Series appearances, five are coming off trips to NCAA Super Regionals and seven made the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Six of the eight Pac-10 teams were ranked in both of the nation's two major softball polls earlier this month.

Stanford returns 10 letterwinners from last year's fourth-place 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.

UCLA (43 points), the 2008 Pac-10 runner-up, edged defending national champion Arizona State (41 points) for the top spot, while Washington came in a close third (36 points). Arizona (34 points), which has won two of the last three national titles, narrowly beat out Stanford (31 points) for the fourth-place slot. California (19 points), Oregon (10 points) and Oregon State (10 points) rounded out the lower half of the poll. The eight first-place votes were split between UCLA (3), Arizona State (2) and Washington (2).

Stanford opens the season next Friday, Feb. 6, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The team plays a doubleheader against McNeese State and Oklahoma State on opening day, with first pitch set for 8:30 a.m. (PT).

2009 Pac-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. UCLA (3) - 43 points
2. Arizona State (2) - 41 points
3. Washington (2) - 36 points
4. Arizona - 34 points
5. Stanford - 31 points
6. California - 19 points
T7. Oregon - 10 points
T7. Oregon State - 10 points

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