Jan. 21, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Fresh off its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 10 years, the Cal State Fullerton softball team was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference according to a vote of the league's coaches released on Wednesday.
The Titans received 49 points to finish behind defending champion and preseason favorite Long Beach State, which received seven of the eight first place votes and 63 points overall.
Central Coast rivals UC Santa Barbara, which garnered the remaining first-place vote, and Cal Poly were tied for third with 45 points followed by Pacific (28), UC Davis (26), Cal State Northridge (21), and UC Riverside (11).
Fullerton returns seven letter winners, four position starters and one pitcher from last year's squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 24th time in 27 seasons. The Titans also welcome 11 newcomers to the fold, including three junior college transfers from nearby Mt. San Antonio College.
Senior catcher Lauren Lupinetti is the leading offensive threat from a season ago, looking to build off a solid junior year that saw her hit .282 with seven home runs and 33 RBI. Sophomore Ari Cervantes is the team's only returning hurler with 11 appearances under her belt, posting an 0-1 record with a 6.30 ERA in only 26.2 innings of work.
Cal State Fullerton opens its 2009 season on Feb. 6 at Anderson Family Field, hosting Indiana in a single game at 6 p.m.
BIG WEST CONFERENCE SOFTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Long Beach State (7) - 63
2. Cal State Fullerton - 49
t3. UC Santa Barbara (1) - 45
t3. Cal Poly - 45
5. Pacific - 28
6. UC Davis - 26
7. Cal State Northridge - 21
8. UC Riverside - 11