Jan. 24, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team was selected to repeat as champions of the Big West Conference in 2007 according to a vote of the league's coaches released by the conference office on Wednesday afternoon.
The Titans received six of the seven first-place votes and earned 48 points overall, outdistancing second-place Cal Poly, which received 35 points.
Fullerton finished the 2006 season 37-24 overall and 14-4 in the Big West to clinch its eighth Big West title. The Titans welcome back eight starters and nine letterwinners from last year's club which advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the 22nd time in 25 seasons.
Cal State Fullerton, which is receiving votes in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason poll, will be led offensively by Big West Co-Field Player of the Year Ashley Van Boxmeer (.302-13-41), who led the league with 45 runs scored and co-led the league in home runs, and in the circle by senior right-hander Candice Baker (22-10, 2.16), who led the league with 259 strikeouts and a .194 batting average against.
Long Beach State, which finished a game behind Fullerton in second place last season, was selected third with 33 points and was followed by UC Santa Barbara and Pacific, which tied for fourth with 25 points apiece.
Cal State Northridge (17 points) received the remaining first-place vote and was picked sixth followed by UC Riverside in seventh place with 13 points.
The Titans open their 2007 regular season on Friday (Feb. 9) as they travel to the desert to compete at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State in Phoenix, AZ.
Fullerton opens the home portion of their schedule against national power Tennessee, ranked No. 2 in the nation according to the NFCA preseason poll, on Wednesday (Feb. 21) at Anderson Family Field at 6 p.m.
BIG WEST CONFERENCE PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Cal State Fullerton (6) - 48
2. Cal Poly - 35
3. Long Beach State - 33
t4. UC Santa Barbara - 25
t4. Pacific - 25
6. Cal State Northridge (1) - 17
7. UC Riverside - 13
first-place votes are in parentheses