Softball Ranks No. 11 In NFCA Preseason Poll

Jan. 20, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford softball team came in at No. 11 when the 2009 USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll was released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association today. The Cardinal begins the season on Feb. 6 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

The Cardinal finished 2008 with a 49-15 record and advanced to its third NCAA Super Regional in four years. The team finished fourth in the competitive Pac-10 Conference and ended the year with a No. 11 ranking in the NFCA poll.

Stanford returns 10 letterwinners from last year's squad, including All-American outfielder Alissa Haber and All-American pitcher Missy Penna. Also returning are 2008 starters Maddy Coon, Shannon Koplitz, Rosey Neill and Melisa Koutz.

Stanford has been ranked in every regular-season NFCA poll since 1998, and spent 97 weeks in the NFCA top-10. The program's highest preseason ranking (No. 3) came in 2002 and the squad reached a program-high No. 2 rank later that year.

Six of the eight Pac-10 squads appeared in the poll and both Oregon schools received votes. Defending national champion Arizona State came in at No. 2, while UCLA (4) and Arizona (7) also made the top 10. California was listed at No. 17, and Washington rounded out the Pac-10 schools at No. 21. Florida, which spent much of 2008 as the top-ranked team, earned the No. 1 spot in this year's poll. Along with the two Pac-10 schools, Alabama (3) and Texas A&M (5) made the top five.

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