Jan. 29, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville softball team is ranked No. 18 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll which was released on January 29.
The Cardinals are coming off of a program-best 55-5 campaign in which they captured the 2012 BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles and made their ninth straight NCAA regional appearance. Louisville returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners including All-American Taner Fowler and fellow all-conference selections Alicja Wolny, Katie Keller, Whitney Arion, Caralisa Connell, Jennifer Esteban and Jordan Trimble.
Louisville was ranked No. 18 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball poll on June 12, 2012. The Cardinals reached a program-best No. 7 on May 15, 2012 after spending two weeks at No. 8 - they were ranked in the top 10 for the final five weeks of the season. Louisville spent 15 weeks in USA Softball top 25 after debuting at No 23 on Feb. 14.
U of L will open the 2013 season at the UNLV Sportco Kick-Off Classic Feb. 8-10.
NFCA 2013 Preseason Coaches' Poll
Alabama, the defending National Champion, has secured the No. 1 spot in the pre-season ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The Tide claimed 13 of 20 first place votes in the poll following their first-ever NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) title.
At the 2012 NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City, the Tide overcame two rain delays and an early three-run deficit to earn the Southeastern Conference (SEC) its first National Championship title. Coming off their runner-up finish, the Oklahoma Sooners stole seven No. 1 votes in the poll. The No. 2 ranking matches Oklahoma's highest preseason ranking in school history.
Six of the schools in the pre-season Top 8 participated in the 2012 WCWS with seventh ranked Missouri and eighth ranked Georgia being the exceptions. Missouri saw their season come to an end at the hands of now-No. 12 LSU, while Georgia fell to now-No. 5 Tennessee at the Knoxville Super Regional in 2012. California starts the season at No. 3 with Arizona State, Oregon, Texas and South Florida claiming 4, 6, 9 and 10, respectively . No. 10 South Florida finished the 2012 season at No. 8 following their program's first WCWS appearance, while LSU, who ended the 2012 season at No. 6, comes in at No. 12 this week.
The Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12) and SEC lead the way with seven teams ranked in the pre-season Top 25, while the Big 12 boasts four squads in the first poll. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big East have two teams representing their conferences, while the Big 10 Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association and Sun Belt Conference each had one team among the Top 25.
Release courtesy of USA Softball
Click Here for the complete ESPN.com/USA Softball poll