Jan. 25, 2012
BERKELEY -The Pac-12 coaches forecasted California softball to finish second in the prestigious conference according to the preseason poll released Wednesday. The Golden Bears received two first-place votes and 58 total points to take second in the preseason poll, marking the highest predicted finish since 2005.
Just three points ahead of Cal, defending national champion Arizona State garnered six first-place votes to occupy the No. 1 spot in the annual poll. Arizona, which took third, rounded out the first-place votes with one.
The 2012 Bears return every starter from last year's squad that advanced to the Women's College Series. Additionally, All-American Valerie Arioto is back for her super senior season after redshirting last year. Head coach Diane Ninemire has added a quintet of talented freshmen including USA Softball's Junior of the Year in Cheyenne Cordes.
Last year, Cal was in a tie for fourth in the preseason poll only to take second, which was the highest conference finish for the Bears since they tied for first in 2005.
In eight of the past 11 seasons, the Bears have finished higher than they were predicted to in the preseason poll. In 2002, the coaches foresaw Cal finishing in a tie for sixth, but not only did the Bears take fourth, but they also went on to win the national title.
CalBears.com will be posting a release or feature every day until the 2012 season begins on Feb. 10. Thursday's feature will be a Q&A with Cheyenne Cordes about her recent experience playing with USA Softball. To see all 30-for-30 releases and features in one place, please click here.
2012 Pac-12 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
Recent Pac-10 Preseason Polls and Actual Finishes