STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, as announced by the conference this week.
Stanford is ranked 20th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll and No. 22 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason poll.
Stanford finished 39-21 and ranked No. 21/22 in the nation in 2013. The Cardinal placed fourth in the Pac-12 with a 13-11 record and was 26-10 against nonconference opponents.
The Cardinal will play some of the nation’s best this spring, including 33 games against 17 teams that participated in 2013 NCAA Regional competition. Stanford will play 19 games against teams ranked in the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25.
Along with playing a challenging nonconference schedule, highlighted by a Feb. 23 matchup against 2013 NCAA runner-up Tennessee, the Cardinal will embark on another tough Pac-12 schedule that includes seven NCAA Tournament teams from last season.
Stanford opens the season Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. (PT) against North Carolina State at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
2014 Pac-12 Softball Coaches Poll
1. Arizona State 60
3. Oregon 48
4. UCLA 42
5. Stanford 38
6. Arizona 28
7. California 18
8. Oregon State 15