UL Sports

Jan 22, 2013 5:46 PM by Release

UL Softball Ranked 11th in NFCA Preseason Top 25

The Ragin' Cajuns softball team will begin the 2013 season in a familiar spot - among the nationally ranked teams in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll.

The NFCA released its preseason poll, signifying the upcoming approach of the 2013 softball season, on Tuesday and Louisiana was listed No. 11.

"It's always an honor to be recognized as one of the top programs in the country," head coach Michael Lotief said. "But we also realize that a lot of the voting is based on what happened last year.

"This year's team has worked extremely hard to prepare for the challenges of the upcoming season and we pledge to our fans that we will work day-by-day and fight every pitch," Lotief added. "Today our focus is on us and finding a way to get better every practice."

The Ragin' Cajuns received 429 votes from a panel of NCAA Division I head coaches representing each conference.

Preparing to embark on the 33rd season in program history, the Cajuns are coming off one of their more successful seasons. Last season, Louisiana (53-6, 21-3 Sun Belt) lost only four times during the regular season, hosted an NCAA Regional at Lamson Park and came within one win of reaching the Women's College World Series.

Seniors Nerissa Myers (.391, 13 HR, 79 RBI) and Matte Haack (.333, 9 HR, 56 RBI) are primed to shoulder the offensive production that acclaimed slugger and run producer in Christi Orgeron fueled the past two seasons.

Sophomore Jordan Wallace (27-2, 2.26 ERA, 167 K) proved a year ago that she's capable of headlining the pitching staff and will be the arm the Cajuns rely on in the first season since the graduation of Ashley Brignac. Redhshirt sophomore Christina Hamilton returns from an ACL injury that sidelined her in 2012 providing the Cajuns with another proven arm in the pitcher's circle.

The Cajuns' 2013 schedule features six teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 - No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 7 Texas, No. 12 South Florida, No. 15 Michigan, No. 17 Texas A&M and No. 20 Hofstra. An additional five opponents are receiving votes - Houston, Tulsa, Mississippi State, Illinois State and South Alabama.

UL opens the 2013 season Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 9-10 at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic. The home opener at Lamson Park is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13 vs. Mississippi State.

For all of the latest news and information on Ragin' Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow the athletics department on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/ULRaginCajuns along with @ULRaginCajuns on Twitter.

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 31 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Final 2012 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.

Rank Team Record Points Previous
1 Alabama (25) 60-8 765
2 Oklahoma (5) 54-10 745
3 California (1) 58-7 704
4 Arizona State 53-11 684
5 Oregon 45-18 635
6 Tennessee 52-14 626
7 Texas 47-13 534
8 Missouri 47-14 496
9 Georgia 45-17 490
10 LSU 40-25 475
11 Louisiana 53-6 429
12 South Florida 50-14 423
13 Arizona 38-19 406
14 Florida 48-11 342
15 Michigan 42-17 326
16 Washington 39-19 316
17 Texas A&M 41-18 296
18 Louisville 55-5 255
19 UCLA 36-20 216
20 Hofstra 42-15 203
21 Stanford 40-19 183
22 North Carolina 43-15 102
23 Hawaii 44-9 89
24 Baylor 34-22 80
25 Florida State 47-16 58
Others receiving votes:

Notre Dame (43), Georgia Tech (29), Syracuse (27), Kentucky (23), Oregon State (22), Texas Tech (12), Virginia Tech (11), DePaul (10), Northwestern (5), BYU (4), Houston (3), Tulsa (2), Mississippi State (2), Illinois State (2), South Alabama (2).

 

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