Bruin Softball Ranked Second in Both Preseason Polls
Jan. 25, 2006
The UCLA softball team, last year's NCAA Runner-Up, opens the 2006 season ranked second in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top-25 Preseason Poll and the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Preseason Poll. The top spot in both polls is held by Michigan, the 2005 NCAA Champion.
UCLA returns nearly its entire 2005 roster for the 2006 campaign, losing only bullpen catcher Nicole Sandberg to graduation. Both of the team's All-Americans from last season, Caitlin Benyi and Anjelica Selden, return along with all four of the team's All-Women's College World Series selections from last season: Krista Colburn, Jodie Legaspi, Selden and Emily Zaplatosch. The Bruins have three newcomers in 2006, junior transfer Celina Rubalcaba and freshmen Kelsey Enquist and Maryn Oyoung.
Seven of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll while six teams are ranked by the USA Today/NFCA Poll. In addition to the second-ranked Bruins, No. 5/5 Arizona, No. 7/8 California, No. 9/7 Stanford, No. 12/15 Oregon State, No. 14/13 Washington and No. NR/22 Oregon also appear in the polls.
UCLA will host three non-conference teams at Easton Stadium who are listed in the preseason polls. No. 17/20 Fresno State will open UCLA's home schedule on Feb. 18-19 at Easton Stadium. Top-ranked Michigan will play a single game at Easton Stadium on March 15. That game will be nationally televised by ESPN2 with a 6 pm PT first pitch. Finally, No. 15/16 Northwestern will visit Easton Stadium on March 26.
At the Palm Springs Classic on Feb. 27, UCLA will play No. 13/12 Oklahoma in a game that will also be televised by the ESPN family of networks. First pitch is scheduled for 11 am Pacific Time.
The Bruins open their 2006 season on Thursday, February 9, with games against Sacramento State and Cal Poly at the Campbell/Cartier Tournament in San Diego.