Pac-12 Leads Preseason Softball Polls
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Defending national champion ARIZONA STATE tops both the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll and ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America released their polls on Tuesday. The Pac-12 leads all conferences with seven teams ranked in each poll.
The Sun Devils will begin 2012 where they left off last year, as the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation according to the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll. Arizona State claimed all 30 first-place votes to top the rankings for the sixth straight edition dating back to last season. In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, the Sun Devils claimed 19 of 20 first-place votes.
CALIFORNIA, coming off its first Women's College World Series appearance since 2005, joins ASU in the top five, receiving a No. 4 ranking by USA Today/NFCA and a No. 3 ranking by ESPN.com/USA Softball. Other Pac-12 teams in the preseason rankings are ARIZONA (No. 8/8), STANFORD (No. 9/10), WASHINGTON (No. 12/14), OREGON (No. 16/11) and UCLA (No. 19/13).
The Pac-12 season begins Thursday, February 9, with eight teams playing in ASU's Kajikawa Classic and UCLA hosting the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.