Bears Heralded as No. 11 Team in ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll

Jan. 28, 2010

BERKELEY - The California women's team was ranked 11th in the country, according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll. The Golden Bears finished in the 12 spot in the final 2009 ranking.

During the 2010 regular season, the Bears will face off against nine of the other 24 teams in the poll, including defending national champion Washington.

Cal was ranked No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll, which was also release earlier this week.

Last year, Cal qualified for the postseason for the 24th consecutive season, the second-longest streak in the nation and the longest in the Pac-10. The Bears won their NCAA Regional at Florida State before falling at top-seeded Florida in the Super Regionals. Over the course of the year, the Bears broke team records for stolen bases (146) and home runs (55).

A key returner for Cal will be junior pitcher/ utility player Valerie Arioto, who earned a slew of honors last season - Easton All-American second team, Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American third team and All-Pacific first team, and first-team All-Pac-10. Other All-Pacific Region first teamers Marrisa Drewrey and Jamia Reid will also come back for the Bears. Also returning are All-Pac-10 honorable mentions Vernae Sevilla and Shannon Thomas. The Bears will be joined by freshmen Jolene Henderson and Lindsey Ziegenhirt, who were named to the EA Sports All-American team, as well as Jayme Goodwin, Diane Leider, Jordan Wallace and sophomore transfer Jace Williams.

The 2010 campaign gets underway at the Arizona State Tournament, which will be held Feb. 12-14 in Tempe, Ariz. Cal will tee off against Texas A&M in the first game of the year at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 12.

ASA/USA Softball is in its eighth season of releasing the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll along with weekly Players of the Week and ultimately the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award.

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25Pre-season - Jan. 26, 2010

Rank	Team		2009 Record	Points	Final 2009 Ranking1.	Washington (17)	51-12	479	12.	Alabama (1)	54-11	457	33.	Michigan	47-12	430	54.	Arizona (1)	46-17	424	75.	Florida		63-5	407	26.	UCLA (1)	45-11	396	107.	Arizona State	47-19	387	68.	Georgia		47-12	363	49.	Missouri	50-12	337	810.	Oklahoma	41-16	306	1711.	California	38-20	282	1212.	Stanford	48-11	256	913.	LSU		34-18-1	234	1914.	Georgia Tech	46-15	215	1315.	Baylor		40-22	214	1516.	Ohio State	47-11	187	1117.	Northwestern	31-15	167	2018.	Tennessee	40-18-1	163	1619.	Florida State	44-16	128	2520.	DePaul		39-14	107	2321.	Louisville	48-11	93	2422.	North Carolina	47-13	91	2223.	Louisiana	45-13	84	RV24.	Fresno State	38-20	70	RV25.	Massachusetts	41-10	55	14

Parenthesis Denotes first-place votes.Dropped Out: Jacksonville State and North Dakota StateOthers receiving votes: Kentucky (26), Jacksonville State (17), Auburn (14), North Dakota State (14), Nevada (12), Oregon (11), Oklahoma State (10), Texas (8), Cal Poly (7), Notre Dame (7), Nebraska (6), Texas A&M (5), Ball State (4), BYU (4), San Diego State (4), Long Beach State (3), Purdue (2), New Mexico State (1), Virginia Tech (1) and Western Michigan (1).

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