Jan. 30, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team will begin the 2008 season ranked No. 24 in the nation according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 preseason poll released on Tuesday.
Two-time defending NCAA National Champion Arizona tops the poll despite losing three starters, including All-Americans Kristie Fox(San Diego, Calif.), and Caitlin Lowe(Tustin, Calif.). The Wildcats (487 pts) received 14 first-place votes.
A total of three conferences, Pac-10, SEC and Big 12, boast teams in the top five with Arizona State (468) coming in at No. 2 with three first-place votes. Trailing only three points behind the Sun Devils is Texas A&M, who received two first-place votes. After spending much of the 2007 season behind Tennessee, Alabama (425 pts) leads the SEC conferenceat No. 4. Rounding out the top 25 is the 2007 Big 12 Champions Oklahoma (410), who are returning seven starters this season.
The biggest dropfrom the final 2007 poll to the 2008 preseason poll is Tennessee who fell to No.11 after finishing runner-up at the 2007 Women's College World Series. UCLA jumped eight stops to No. 10 after finishing the final poll of last season atNo.18.No. 14 Washington joins Tennessee as the only 2007 Women's College World Series participant who did not make the pre-season top10.
Eight conferences are represented on the poll with the Pac-10 leading the way with seven teams, with three schools in the top 10. The Big 12 is second with five teams ranked in the top 25, also with three teams ranked in the top 10. The SEC, Big Ten and ACC all have three schools in the top 25 while the Big East, WAC, Sun Belt and Big West all have one school in the rankings.
The first regular season poll will be released Feb. 12 and will be released on a weekly basis throughout the softball season.
To view the complete poll, please click here.