Jan. 28, 2014
The University of Louisville softball team is ranked No. 18 in the 2014 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason poll which was released by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball on Jan. 28.
UofL finished the 2013 season at No. 23 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll after posting a 47-13 record and earning its tenth-straight NCAA tournament bid and the No. 15 overall seed in the tournament for the second consecutive season. After making their 2013 debut at No. 18 in the preseason rankings, the Cards went on to spend three weeks in the top 10, matching the highest ranking in program history on April 23.
Louisville recorded program-best No. 7 ranking for the first time on May 15, 2012. The Cardinals were ranked in the top 10 for the final five weeks of that season.
This marks the 32nd straight week Louisville has appeared in the USA Softball Top 25 rankings dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season.
The Cardinals have earned preseason top 25 rankings in three different polls. In addition the USA Softball's No. 18 spot, Louisville is No. 19 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 13 in the College Sports Madness rankings.
About Louisville Softball
UofL's 2014 roster includes eight letter winners from last year's team, including 2013 All-America selection Katie Keller, All-BIG EAST team members: Whitney Arion, Caralisa Connell, Hannah Kiyohara, Rachel LeCoq and Maggie Ruckenbrod; and 2012 All-America selection Taner Fowler. The Cardinals also welcome 10 newcomers to this year's squad.
Louisville will open the 2014 season in Boca Raton, Fla., at the FAU "Kickoff" Classic Feb. 7-9.
About ESPN.com USA Softball Top 25 Poll
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll is voted on by NCAA Division I coaches representing 15 different ASA regions and 11 different collegiate conferences. The poll is also voted on by selected softball media members.
A season removed from a runner-up finish at the NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS), the Lady Vols of Tennessee have secured the No. 1 spot in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll with six first place votes. National champion Oklahoma placed second after garnering five first place votes. The Florida Gators matched Tennessee's six first place votes and come in ranked No. 3 to start the year. Michigan, coming off of a 51-13 season a year ago, drops in at No. 4 and Washington, who received two first place votes, rounds out the top five.
Fellow American Athletic Conference member South Florida stands in at No. 23 and is one of five currently ranked opponents on Louisville's schedule. The Cards will also face No. 4 Michigan, No. 13 UCLA, No. 14 Kentucky and No. 17 Missouri. Additionally seven teams on Louisville's schedule are receiving votes including: Wisconsin, Tulsa, Western Kentucky, Oregon State, Notre Dame, Houston and North Carolina.
For the latest information on Louisville softball, log on to GoCards.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/UofLSoftball or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LouisvilleSoftball.