2-1-2014 Spy February 2 Update

SPY February 2 UPDATE


Huskies, Sun Devils Projected in Pac 12

SEATTLE After finishing third at the 2013 Women’s College World Series and earning the No. 3 ranking from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association last week, the Washington Huskies softball team has caught the attention of the coaches in the Pac-12.

The Huskies are in a tie with Arizona State for first place in the Pac-12 coaches preseason poll, receiving four first-place votes, as announced by the conference Thursday. The Huskies received 60 points total.

“Meeting the preseason expectations of the Pac-12 coaches poll is a great challenge for our team,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “This gives us a great opportunity to prove what we can do this year.”

This marks just the fourth time in the history of the Pac-12 coaches poll that two teams have tied for first place.

The Huskies return 14 letterwinners from last season’s team, which finished 3rd in the Pac-12 with a record of 16-8 in conference. The Huskies finished 45-17 overall and ended the year ranked fourth in both the NFCA poll and the ESPN/USA Softball poll.

The Huskies open the 2014 season at the UNLV/SportCo Kick-Off Classic on Friday, February 7 vs. No. 18 Baylor at 9:00 a.m. 

TEMPEThe No. 7 Arizona State University softball program has been voted in a tie with Washington as the top team in the Pac-12 Conference following the preseason polling of the Pac-12 softball coaches, as announced by the conference office on Thursday.

The Sun Devils and the Huskies both received 60 points, with Arizona State earning five first-place votes and Washington earning four. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 of both the USA Today/NFCA and the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason polls, with Washington coming in at third and fifth respectively and Arizona State placing seventh in both. ASU and UW were the only two Pac-12 teams to advance to the Women’s College World Series last season, with the Huskies finishing third overall in the postseason.

It is only the fourth time in the history of the coaches poll that two teams have tied for first, as Arizona and UCLA were picked to split the title three times previously (2011, 2002 and 2001).

The Sun Devils enter the 2014 campaign with four returning All-Americans on the roster in Dallas Escobedo, Amber Freeman, Cheyenne Coyle and Alix Johnson – the most returning All-Americans of any team in the nation.

Escobedo, Freeman and Coyle also enter the season on the USA Softball Preseason Watch List for the National Player of the Year award, tied for the highest tally of any team in the country.

The team also returns the likes of All-Pac-12 selections in Mackenzie Popescue, Haley Steele, Bethany Kemp, Bailey Wigness, Elizabeth Caporuscio and Nikki Girard to a program that has advanced the to the Women’s College World Series in seven of the last eight seasons – two more appearances than any other team in the nation.

The Sun Devils will open the season on Thursday, Feb. 6 against Creighton in the opener of the 2014 Kajikawa Classic at Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Tickets for the upcoming season are now on sale and available through the following link.

2014 Pac-12 Softball Coaches Poll

1.         Washington                 60

Arizona State              60

3.         Oregon                        48

4.         UCLA                          42

5.         Stanford                      38

6.         Arizona                       28

7.         California                    18

8.         Oregon State              15

Utah                            15



Louisville Favored in AAC

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 18/19 University of Louisville softball team was chosen as the preseason favorite in 2014 American Athletic Conference Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as selected by the league’s eight head coaches.

Louisville received six of seven possible first place votes for 48 total points to take the honor. The Cardinals are coming off an impressive 2013 season which saw the program post a 47-13 overall record and an 18-4 conference mark in the former Big East.  UofL also earned its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and the overall No. 15 seed for the second straight season. The 2014 Cardinal squad will return eight letterwinners and six starters, including senior and 2013 NFCA Second Team All-American second baseman Katie Keller. Five other seniors and Big East award winners: Caralisa Connell, Taner Fowler, Hannah Kiyohara, Rachel LeCoq and Maggie Ruckenbrod, will join Keller in pursuit of an 11th straight NCAA bid, all of which have come under 15th-year head coach Sandy Pearsall.

No. 23/25 USF took the second-place slot, picking up two first place vote and 44 overall points. The 2013 Big East Champions advanced to their second-straight and eleventh overall NCAA Tournament appearance last year. Houston, the 2013 Conference USA tournament runner-up stands at third in the league coaches’ poll. The Cougars have been to three straight NCAA tournaments. UCF, Rutgers, Connecticut, Memphis and Temple round out the preseason standings.

The conference’s teams all begin play within the next three weeks, with the eight teams looking toward the inaugural American Athletic Conference Softball Championship. Held at the Cougar Softball Field on the campus of the University of Houston May 8-10, the Championship will take the form of a single-elimination bracket. The quarterfinal and semifinal matchups will all be broadcast live on The American Digital Network, with the final featured live on ESPNEWS.

2014 American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll

School (First Place Votes)                     Points

1. Louisville (6)                                           48

2. USF (2)                                                     44

3. Houston                                                  37

4. UCF                                                          29

5. Rutgers                                                    23

6. UConn                                                     15

Memphis                                                 15

8. Temple                                                    13




NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – 2014 Preseason

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 Poll is voted on by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Final 2013 records are shown. First place votes are in parentheses.







1 Tufts (8) 46-3 200  
2 Montclair State 46-5 186  
3 Salisbury 42-4 185  
4 Cortland State 35-17 164  
5 Texas-Tyler 47-6 162  
6 Central (Iowa) 32-10 158  
7 Luther 33-11 152  
8 East Texas Baptist 37-12 146  
9 Trine 38-5 123  
10 Virginia Wesleyan 41-8 122  
11 St. Thomas (Minn.) 41-7 119  
12 Emory 42-5 109  
13 Piedmont 34-10 108  
14 Linfield 36-8 89  
15 Augustana (Ill.) 32-14 86  
16 Lebanon Valley 36-7-1 79  
17 Christopher Newport 34-13 50  
  Washington (Mo.) 31-14 50  
19 Redlands 36-12 49  
20 Rowan 41-9 48  
21 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 33-13 43  
22 Carthage 33-12 32  
23 Babson 34-14 27  
24 Coe 34-8 25  
25 North Central (Ill.) 35-12 23  

Others receiving votes:

Anderson (17), Capital (17), Ithaca (8), Kean (8), Utica (8), Lynchburg (3), Wisconsin-Eau Claire (3), Wisconsin-Whitewater (1).



NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll – Preseason 2014

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches, two representing each of the eight NCAA regions. Final 2013 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.







1 Central Oklahoma (16) 51-11 400  
2 Kutztown 37-22 376  
3 Grand Valley State 46-9 346  
4 Humboldt State 53-14 340  
5 Armstrong 44-10-1 338  
6 Valdosta State 46-13 303  
7 Indianapolis 54-8 276  
8 West Texas A&M 44-13 272  
9 Alabama-Huntsville 43-17 266  
10 Southeastern Oklahoma State 45-9 250  
11 LIU Post 47-15 220  
12 St. Martin’s 41-16 194  
13 Tampa 33-10 189  
14 Texas Woman’s University 51-14 185  
15 North Georgia 36-14 179  
16 California (Pennsylvania) 38-6 148  
17 Angelo State 37-18 125  
18 Missouri-St. Louis 41-13 106  
19 Caldwell 45-12 104  
20 Anderson (South Carolina) 40-15 102  
21 UC San Diego 33-25 96  
22 Augustana (South Dakota) 32-17 78  
23 Dixie State 40-14 47  
24 Barry 34-20 41  
25 Columbus State 41-18 40  

Others receiving votes:

Bloomsburg (36), St. Mary’s TX (27), Molloy (23), Minnesota State Mankato (20), New Haven (16), St. Edward’s (14), Adelphi (13), St. Leo (8), Winona State (6), Cal State Dominguez Hills (4), Colorado Mesa (4), Hawaii-Hilo (4), West Chester (2), West Virginia State (2)

Dropped out:

No. 6 Molloy (53-14), No. 10 Winona State (37-14), No. 13 Cal State Dominguez Hills (37-24), No. 14 Adelphi (41-19), No. 15 St. Edward’s (33-23), No. 16 Fort Hays State (47-12), No. 17 West Chester (37-21), No. 25 Minnesota State Mankato (40-12)




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