UCLA Tabbed As Pac-10 Softball Favorite
Jan. 16, 2003
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -
After finishing first in the Pac-10 last season, UCLA has been selected by Conference softball coaches as the top team in 2003. The Bruins garnered 46 points, including five of the first place votes. In second place, ARIZONA earned 44 points and the other three first place votes.
WASHINGTON finished third with 33 points, while CALIFORNIA and STANFORD were tied for fourth with 30. Rounding out the rest of the poll was ARIZONA STATE with 20 points, OREGON STATE with 14 and OREGON with seven.
In 2002, UCLA posted a 55-9 record, 18-3 in Pac-10 play. The Bruins played strong postseason ball and finished fifth in the 2002 Women's College World Series.
The Pac-10 placed seven of its eight squads in the NCAA Tournament last season, with four teams advancing to the WCWS. For the second consecutive year (ninth time overall), two Pac-10 teams squared off in the National Championship game, with California winning its first NCAA softball title in a win over Arizona, 6-0. Additionally, Pac-10 teams finished 1-2-3 in the final 2002 USA Today/NFCA poll, for a total of seven teams ranked in the top-25.
The 2003 softball season will get under way on Friday, January 31 with preseason tournament action. Pac-10 Conference play begins Saturday, March 15 when Oregon travels to take on Oregon State.
Results of the poll are as follows. Seven points are awarded to the first-place vote, six points to the second-place vote, and so on. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.
2003 PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE SOFTBALL COACHES' PRESEASON POLL
School (First Place Votes) Points 1. UCLA (5) 46 2. Arizona (3) 44 3. Washington 33 4. California 30 Stanford 30 6. Arizona State 20 7. Oregon State 14 8. Oregon 7