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Bruin Softball Tops Pre-Season Poll
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  01/24/2001

Jan. 24, 2001

The UCLA softball team, the runner-up in last season's NCAA Championship, has been selected the preseason No. 1 by the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll. The Preseason Top 25 is voted on by 27 Division I softball coaches, representing all areas of the USA.

This is the second consecutive season that the Bruins have held the top spot in the NFCA's Preseason poll. UCLA returns 13 letterwinners for 2001, including five position starters and all three pitchers from the 2000 team. Additionally, the Bruins will once again enjoy the services of junior All-American catcher Stacey Nuveman, who sat out the 2000 collegiate season in order to participate with the U.S. Olympic Team, which won the gold medal in Sydney last September.

The Bruins have won nine National Championships in softball, including eight NCAA titles, most recently winning the 1999 Championship. UCLA will open its 2001 schedule at San Jos? State on Sat., Feb. 3 at the Early Bird Classic, and will open its home slate on Sat. Feb. 10 at 1 pm, with a doubleheader against San Diego at Easton Stadium.

All eight Pac-10 schools that sponsor softball are ranked in the poll's top-20: No. 3 Arizona, No. 4 Washington, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 7 California, No. 15 Stanford, No. 16 Oregon State and No. 20 Oregon. The Bruins non-conference schedule features six other ranked teams.

USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll (2001 UCLA opponents in italics)

1.UCLA (13)46-12-1 655 2
2.Oklahoma (10)66-86421
3.Arizona (4)59-96323
5.Alabama 66-145356
6.Arizona State43-2052310 (tie)
8.LSU 59-13 4659
9.Fresno State54-1445510 (tie)
14.Cal State Fullerton45-1529519
16.Oregon State40-21-126112
17.Florida State51-2721017
18.South Carolina40-2816922 (tie)
19.Notre Dame47-1415724
21.Southern Mississippi63-131374
22.Long Beach State39-23125NR
23.Mississippi State44-2710821

Others Receiving Votes: Florida Atlantic (56), Illinois-Chicago (35), Hofstra (32), Massachusetts (32), Oklahoma State (31), Louisiana Lafayette (27), Florida (23), Texas A&M (23), Penn State (21), Central Michigan (20), Cal State Northridge (16), Hawaii (13), New Mexico (10), Wisconsin (8), North Carolina (7), Northwestern (6), Virginia Tech (6), South Florida (2). Three other schools (totaling 9 points) were mentioned on only one ballot and are not included among others receiving votes.

First-place votes are in parentheses. Records are from the 2000 season. LY is team's ranking in the final 2000 Top 25.

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