Jan. 25, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The 2012 Pac-12 softball preseason coaches' poll has been released, with the Cardinal picked to finish in fifth-place by league's coaches.
The Cardinal finished 2011 with a 42-17 record and made its 14th consecutive postseason appearance. Stanford was one win away from advancing to the Women's College World Series as it went 1-2 in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. It marked the fifth super regional appearance for the Cardinal in the past seven years.
The team finished fifth in the competitive Pac-10 Conference and ended the year with a No. 10 ranking in the two polls. Two conference teams return from Women's College World Series appearances, including the 2011 national champion Arizona State, while six teams are coming off trips to NCAA Super Regionals. Seven of the nine Pac-12 teams were ranked in both of the nation's two major softball polls, announced Tuesday. Stanford is ranked No. 9 by the NFCA and No. 10 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
Stanford returns 11 letter winners from last year's squad, including 2011 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Ashley Hansen. Also returning are 2011 starters Jenna Becerra, Maya Burns, Corey Hanewich, Sarah Hassman, Teagan Gerhart, Danielle Miller and Jenna Rich.
Stanford opens the season Friday, Feb. 10, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Cardinal will face Cal State Northridge at 9 p.m. MT and No. 15/17 Texas A&M at 2 p.m. MT.
2012 Pac-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Arizona State (6) - 61 points
2. California (2) - 58 points
3. Arizona (1) - 48 points
4. UCLA - 40 points
5. Stanford - 38 points
6. Washington - 30 points
7. Oregon - 26 points
8. Oregon State - 14 points
9. Utah - 9 points