Softball Earns No. 6 National Ranking

Jan. 24, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State softball will start the 2001 season ranked sixth in the country according to the USA Today/NFCA Top-25 preseason poll, released today. The poll is voted on by 27 Division I softball coaches, representing all areas of the country.

Playing in the toughest conference in the nation, the Pac-10, all eight schools (USC and Washington St. do not field teams) are ranked in the top-20, including five of the top seven.

The Sun Devils, coming off a 43-20 season and a No. 10 national ranking last year, return nine starters, including two-time All-American pitcher Kirsten Voak and All-American designated player Erica Beach.

Head Coach Linda Wells, entering her 12th-season at ASU and 28th overall, will also have the services of All-Pac-10 performers Kara Brun, Missy Hixon, Nichole Thompson and Sara Kahler.

In addition to the strong returning cast, Arizona State will also have the services of talented freshmen Phelan Wright, Kristen Swetel and Kristin Farber, as well as junior college transfer Shilo Talanoa.

The Sun Devils will kick off the 2001 season hosting its annual Fiesta Bowl Tournament February 9-11 at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex and at ASU's Farrington Stadium.

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