Jan. 22, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - 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 Tuesday afternoon.
The Titans, who received 55 points overall, were edged out of the top spot by defending league champion Cal Poly (56 points) despite receiving three first place votes to the Mustangs' two.
Long Beach State was picked third with 52 points in a tightly-contested race for the preseason No. 1 spot and matched Cal Poly with two first-place votes.
Pacific was fourth with 33 points followed by Cal State Northridge with 32 points (and one first-place vote), UC Davis with 28 points, UC Santa Barbara with 20 points, and UC Riverside with 12 points.
Led by ninth-year head coach Michelle Gromacki, the Titans (38-23 overall, 13-5 in the Big West in 2007) return eight starters and nine letter winners overall from a squad that finished second in the conference and won an NCAA regional for the first time since 1995, becoming the first Big West school to advance to the Super Regional round since it was instituted in 2005.
Munoz is the team's leading hitter from a season ago, earning first-team All-Big West recognition after hitting .339 with five home runs and 28 RBI, leading Fullerton in both average and hits.
Doucette, an honorable mention selection at third base in 2007, is a dual threat with the bat and her right arm in the circle. The Titans' only returning starting pitcher from 2007, Doucette hit .278 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI while also posting an 8-5 record with a 2.58 ERA.
Lupinetti was an All-Big West Second-Team selection in 2007 after hitting .289 with seven home runs, 29 RBI, and a league-high 15 hit by pitches.
Cal State Fullerton opens its 2008 season on Feb. 8 at Anderson Family Field, hosting Santa Clara at 6 p.m.
2008 BIG WEST CONFERENCE SOFTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Cal Poly (2) - 56
2. Cal State Fullerton (3) - 55
3. Long Beach State (2) - 52
4. Pacific - 33
5. Cal State Northridge (1) - 32
6. UC Davis - 28
7. UC Santa Barbara - 20
8. UC Riverside - 12