Jan. 20, 2004
Berkeley, Calif. - After being picked second in the preseason ESPN.com / USA Softball poll on Jan. 15, Cal was selected third in the Pac-10 preseason coaches poll. The Bears notched 36 points in the 2004 poll, placing them behind first-place UCLA (48 points) and second-place Arizona (44 points). UCLA was the team picked ahead of Cal at No. 1 in the preseason ESPN.com / USA Softball poll on Jan. 15.
Last season Cal reached the national championship game, but was ousted by UCLA, 1-0. The Bears went 10-11 in conference play in 2003, finishing third behind the Wildcats and Bruins.
It was a banner year for the Pac-10 in 2003, as the conference sent all eight teams to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in league history. For the third straight season at least three teams advanced to the Women's College World Series (Arizona, California, UCLA and Washington). For the 10th time in Pac-10 history, two conference teams played for the national championship. A total of seven teams from the conference finished in the top 25 of the final USA Today / NFCA poll.
Pac-10 conference play begins on Friday, April 2, when the Golden Bears return from a two-month long road trip to face Oregon, followed by home dates with Oregon State on Saturday and Sunday, April 3-4.