Softball Chosen As Unanimous Preseason No. 1
Jan. 26, 2010
SEATTLE - The defending national champion Washington softball team will begin the 2010 season as the No. 1 team in the nation, earning the top spot unanimously in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll while also earning the top spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25.
This marks the first time in the Huskies' 17-year history they will enter the season as the top team. UW started last season ranked No. 15 in the ESPN.com poll and No. 21 in the USA Today poll in the preseason before going 51-12 and winning the College World Series for the first time in program history.
The Huskies earned all 30 first-place votes in the USA Today/NFCA poll and a total of 750 votes to earn the top spot ahead of SEC foes Alabama and Florida. Michigan is No. 4 while Arizona State and Arizona come in at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. Three other Pac-10 schools rank in the pre-season top-12, including UCLA at No. 8, Stanford at No. 10 and California at No. 12.
In the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, the Huskies garnered 17 of a possible 20 first-place votes to receive the top ranking ahead of Alabama, which also received a first-place vote. Also receiving first-place votes were No. 4 Arizona and No. 6 UCLA.
The Huskies return 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and Women's College World Series Most Outstanding Player Danielle Lawrie in 2010. They also return a handful of key offensive players to the field, including WCWS All-Tournament selections Morgan Stuart, Kimi Pohlman and Niki Williams along with All-American shortstop Jenn Salling.