Six Pac-12 softball teams listed on NFCA preseason poll
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Six softball teams represented the Pac-12 in the 2014 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) preseason top-25 poll, as announced by the organization on Tuesday morning. Three teams were tabbed in the top 10, while eight total teams received votes.
WASHINGTON led the charge, coming in at third overall with one first-place vote. The Huskies finished the 2013 season tied for third overall in the Women’s College World Series, their best finish since winning the 2009 National Championship, and an overall record of 45-17. ARIZONA STATE followed at seventh in the preseason poll. The Sun Devils were the only other Pac-12 team to advance to the Women’s College World Series last year, compiling a 50-12 record along the way. OREGON rounded out the Conference teams in the top 10, placing at eighth. The Ducks went as far as the NCAA Super Regional round in the postseason, finishing with a record of 50-11.
UCLA was tabbed at 16th after advancing to the NCAA Tournament last season for the 29th time in school history and finishing the season at 40-20. STANFORD came in at 22nd, ending last year fourth in the Pac-12 overall and going 39-21. CALIFORNIA is the final Pac-12 school to earn a berth in the top 25, and will enter the season ranked 24th in the NFCA poll. The Golden Bears also competed in the NCAA Tournament before finishing 2013 with a 38-19 record.
ARIZONA and OREGON STATE both received votes in the poll. The Wildcats advanced to the postseason last year for the 27th-consecutive season, finishing 33-26, while the Beavers saw their 11th all-time tournament appearance and finished 34-24.
The 2014 softball season opens on Thursday, February 6 with the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., where six of the nine Pac-12 teams will compete. For more information, including television schedules for the upcoming season, visit www.pac-12.com.