Feb. 4, 2013
BERKELEY - Pac-12 coaches predict the No. 3/3 California softball team will repeat last season's success as conference champions, according to the annual preseason coaches poll released Monday. The Golden Bears received seven first-place votes and 62 total points.
With one first place vote and 56 total points, Arizona State is predicted to take the No. 2 spot, while Oregon rounds out the top three with 52 points.
The Golden Bears return six starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad, including 2012 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Jolene Henderson back for her senior season. Head coach Diane Ninemire enters her 26th season with the Bears with a lineup that also includes five talented freshmen, including 2012's Ms. Softball State Player of the Year Vanessa Alavarez and her All-State First Team teammate Nisa Ontiveros.
In nine of the past 12 seasons, the Bears have finished higher than predicted in the preseason poll. Predicted to take second in the conference last year, the Bears finished with a 21-3 conference record to win the inaugural Pac-12 championship on their way to a third-place finish at the Women's College World Series. It was the second outright Pac-12 (or Pac-10) title for the team, and the first since 1987. The Bears tied for first in the conference in 2005.
2013 Pac-12 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll