Softball: OU ranked No. 5 in preseason
The Oklahoma softball team will open the 2008 season ranked No. 5 as the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Preseason Poll was released on Wednesday afternoon. It marks the fourth time in the 14-year history of the poll that the Sooners have received a top-five preseason ranking.
The Sooners have been ranked in the top 25 of every NFCA poll since its inception, which spans 171 weeks long. OU and Arizona, the 2007 National Champions, are the only programs to be ranked in the NFCA Top-25 every week of its existence.
The preseason poll features seven of the opponents Oklahoma will face this season, including four Big 12 squads.
Defending national champion Arizona earned 27 first-place votes to claim the top spot ahead of fellow Women’s College World Series participant Texas A&M in the inaugural poll of the 2008 campaign. Arizona State, Alabama and Oklahoma round out the top five, respectively.
2007 WCWS participant Tennessee, which also received a first-place vote, begins the season at No. 6 and is followed by Northwestern, Big 12 foe Baylor, LSU and DePaul.
While Texas A&M, OU and Baylor represent the Big 12 in the top 10, conference schools Texas and Missouri will open the year at No. 22 and No. 25, respectively.
UCLA, OU’s opening weekend opponent, came in at No. 14 and also received a first-place vote. In addition OU will also face Stanford (No. 19), Oregon (No. 20) and Cal State Fullerton (No. 21) in non-conference play.
OU kicks off the 2008 season with its annual Meet the Team banquet next Friday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. inside Journey Church at 6:30 p.m. Tickets ($20) are still available for the ceremony. For tickets call Kaycee Clark at (405) 325-8377.
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