Pac-12 softball coaches pick California as preseason favorite

By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - In a polling of the Conference's softball coaches, CALIFORNIA was selected as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 title in 2013. The Golden Bears received 62 points and seven first-place votes.

California, the reigning Pac-12 Champion returns 12 letterwinners this season including 2012 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Jolene Henderson.

ARIZONA STATE is ranked second with 56 points and one first-place vote. The Sun Devils return 13 letterwinners from last season and will have to replace just four position starters and one starting pitcher. ASU can rely on the return of P Dallas Escobedo OF Alix Johnson and C Amber Freeman.

OREGON was picked third, totaling 52 points. The Ducks advanced last season to just their second-ever WCWS in program history. With returnees such as OF Samantha Pappas and C Alexa Peterson Oregon can expect another strong season.

The WASHINGTON Huskies rounded out the top half in fourth with 41 points. The Huskies are coming off of winning their seventh regional tournament in eight years and returns P Kaitlin Inglesby.

ARIZONA was picked fifth with 32 points, and STANFORD was close behind in sixth with 29 points. UCLA was right behind the Cardinal being chosen to finished seventh with 28 points. OREGON STATE received 16 points for eight place, with UTAH receiving nine points for ninth place.

The 2013 Pac-12 kicks off its season on Thursday, Feb. 7 with six teams at the Kajiikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State and UCLA hosting the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.

Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 with the first place votes in parentheses).

2013 Pac-12 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. California (7) 62
2. Arizona State (1) 56
3. Oregon 52
4. Washington 41
5. Arizona 32
6. Stanford 29
7. UCLA 28
8. Oregon State 16
9. Utah 9


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