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The Bears will face seven opponents ranked in the preseason top 25
Courtesy: Cal Athletics
Cal Opens Season at No. 24 in NFCA Preseason Poll
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/21/2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The California softball squad checks in at No. 24 in the preseason USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I Top 25 poll. Last season’s Women’s College World Series runner-up Tennessee tops the poll, followed by WCWS champion Oklahoma and Washington at No. 3.

The Bears are one of six Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 25, with the Huskies leading the way at No. 3. Arizona State (No. 7), Oregon (8), UCLA (16) and Stanford (22) are also ranked. Conference foes Arizona and Oregon State also received votes toward the rankings.

Aside from the Pac-12 schools, Cal will face two more opponents ranked in the preseason poll. The Bears are scheduled for meetings with No. 11 Texas A&M and No. 18 Baylor, both at the high-powered Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs from Feb. 21-23.

Cal welcomes back three 2013 NFCA All-Pacific Region honorees in juniors Danielle Henderson (first team) and Cheyenne Cordes (second team) and senior Victoria Jones (second team). Cordes was also an All-Pac-12 second-team selection while Jones and Henderson were All-Pac-12 honorable mentions. The Bears also added several new faces to the roster in the offseason, including standout pitcher Katie Sutherland-Finch from Glencoe High School in Oregon and 2013 Ms. Softball State Player of the Year Kylie Reed.

The Bears opened last season ranked No. 3 behind Oklahoma and Alabama and finished 2013 with a 38-19 (10-14 Pac-12) record, tying for fifth in the conference and advancing to NCAA Regional competition before falling to Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.

The complete preseason poll is listed below. Final 2013 records are shown and first-place votes are in parentheses.

USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Poll – Preseason -- Jan. 21, 2014

Rank

Team

2013 Record

Totals

Final 2013 Rank

1

Tennessee (7)

52-12

729

2

2

Oklahoma (17)

57-4

720

1

3

Washington (1)

45-17

702

4

4

Florida (6)

58-9

684

5

5

Michigan (1)

51-13

652

6

6

Alabama

45-15

604

10

7

Arizona State

50-12

593

7

8

Oregon

50-11

576

9

9

Nebraska

45-16

572

8

10

Texas

51-10

532

3

11

Texas A&M

42-18

383

13

12

Kentucky

41-21

374

14

13

Louisiana Lafayette

47-15

367

12

14

Missouri

38-14

357

11

15

Florida State

44-19

317

15

16

UCLA

40-20

282

21

17

LSU

42-16

269

18

18

Baylor

42-17

244

20

19

Louisville

48-13

235

19

20

South Alabama

48-9

194

17

21

UAB

40-19

181

16

22

Stanford

39-21

164

22

23

Georgia

40-21

149

RV

24

California

38-19

125

23

25

USF

45-16

98

RV

 

Others Receiving Votes:  Hawai’i (86), Arizona (45), Arkansas (28), Hofstra (27), Tulsa (23), Wisconsin (21), N.C. State (16), Auburn (10), Long Beach State (8), Notre Dame (8), Virginia Tech (8), Houston (6), BYU (5), Oregon State (3), North Carolina (2), Western Kentucky (1)


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