FEBRUARY 2 2011 UPDATE
NFCA PRE-SEASON DII POLL
Valdosta Takes Top Spot In Crowded NFCA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll
Feb. 2, 2011
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Last season’s national runner-up, Valdosta State will begin the 2011 season as the No. 1 team in the land, according to the NFCA Division II Preseason Top 25 poll, that was released by the Association on Wednesday.
The Blazers, who return 13 players from last year’s team, beat out National Championship participant North Georgia by 10 points, despite receiving just two of 16 first-place votes. Coming in at third was 2010 National Champion Hawaii Pacific, who received 10 first place votes. Rounding out the top five were two more National Championship participants, Bloomsburg and Wayne State (MI), who came in at fourth and fifth, respectively.
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 2010 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.
|Rank||Team||2010 Record||Totals||Last Poll|
|1||Valdosta St. (2)||51-9||383||2|
|2||North Georgia (4)||51-2||373||5|
|3||Hawaii Pacific (10)||50-8||361||1|
|5||Wayne St. (MI)||52-13||303||7|
|6||West Texas A&M||45-18||293||24|
|7||Wayne St. (NE)||43-14||268||14|
HAWAII TOPS WAC PRE-SEASON POLL
FRESNO, Calif. – With the start of the 2011 season days away, the Fresno State softball team was picked by the Western Athletic Conference coaches to finish second while three Bulldogs earned selections to the preseason All-WAC team, the conference office announced this afternoon.
Senior shortstop Haley Gilleland, junior pitcher/first baseman Michelle Moses and senior catcher Caitlin Stiglich were Fresno State’s representatives on the preseason All-WAC team. The three selections marked the second-most for any WAC school behind Hawai’i's five student-athletes, including the 2011 Preseason Player of the Year sophomore Kelly Majam and Pitcher of the Year junior Stephanie Ricketts.
Hawai’i, the defending WAC champion who advanced to the 2010 Women’s College World Series, grabbed 48 points and six first-place votes to be tabbed as the preseason conference favorite. The Bulldogs garnered 43 points and a pair of first-place votes.
Boise State followed in third place, New Mexico State edged Louisiana Tech for fourth place. Nevada was picked to finish sixth (24), followed by San Jose State in seventh with 13 points. Utah State rounded out the poll in eighth place with eight points.
Gilleland, Moses and Stiglich all were members of the 2010 All-WAC team. Moses was also a 2010 second-team All-West Region honoree.
Head coaches cannot vote for their own teams or student-athletes in preseason voting.
Last week, the Dogs received national recognition by earning votes in both the 2011 preseason USA Today/NFCA Division I and ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate polls.
Fresno State earned 31 votes in the USA Today/NFCA poll, the 26th most of any team in the country, while in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, the Dogs earned nine votes to rank in 34th position.
“Once again we have a very strong national schedule as we do every year,” noted Wright, who enters her 26th season while averaging 49 wins per season.
In 2011, the Dogs will face three schools that competed in the 2010 Women’s College Series, including a neutral site game with No. 7/9 Missouri, two neutral site games against 2009 national champion and No. 10/11 Washington and three WAC home games versus No. 8/13 Hawai’i (April 1 and 2). In total, Fresno State will compete against nine schools ranked in the Top 25.
“We are playing 14 games against the top 45 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason coaches poll, 12 of which come against the Top 25,” Wright added. “In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate preseason poll, we will be playing 16 games against the top 45, and 12 of those also will be against the Top 25.”
Fresno State went 41-21 in 2010 and advanced to the championship game of the Los Angeles Regional before falling to eventual national champion UCLA. The Bulldogs were ranked four weeks and finished No. 28 in both final polls.
The Dogs are the nation’s only program to have qualified for all 29 NCAA Tournaments in the Division I sport’s history and head coach Margie Wright, the all-time winningest Division I fastpitch head softball coach, owns 1386 career victories – 14 shy of the 1400 career win milestone.
The Bulldogs have appeared in 12 of the 29 NCAA Women’s College World Series and secured the school’s first Division I national championship in any sport in 1998, have been a national runner-up four times (1990, ’89, ’88 and ’82), finished third three times (1997, ’92 and ’91) and tied for fifth four times (1999, ’94, ’87 and ’84).
Fresno State has won 10 of the past 15 regular season Western Athletic championships and three WAC Tournament titles (2009, ’07 and 1999). The Bulldogs are the nation’s second-best all-time winningest NCAA Division I softball fastpitch program with a 1,407-471-1 (.749) record since 1982 — ahead of UCLA, Florida State, Cal State Fullerton, La.-Lafayette, California, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
Fresno State enters its 34th year of competition with an overall program record 1,491-528-1 (.738) since 1978 – just nine wins away from the program’s 1,500th all-time victory.
Fresno State opens the season on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. in Bulldog Diamond with a doubleheader against Sacramento State. The Dogs will also serve as the hosts for the 2011 WAC Softball Tournament from May 11-14.
2011 WAC Preseason Poll
Rank – Team (first-place votes) – Points
1. Hawai`i (6) – 48
2. Fresno State (2) – 43
3. Boise State – 33
4. New Mexico State – 28
5. Louisiana Tech – 27
6. Nevada – 24
7. San Jose State – 13
8. Utah State – 8
2011 Preseason All-WAC Team
Allie Crump, Boise State, P, Jr.
Haley Gilleland, Fresno State, SS, Sr.
Melissa Gonzalez, Hawai’i, 3B, Sr.
Jessica Iwata, Hawai’i, SS, So.
Tiare Jennings, New Mexico State, OF, Jr.
Meghan Krieg, Louisiana Tech, P , Sr.
Kelly Majam, Hawai’i, OF, So.
Michelle Moses, Fresno State, P, Jr.
Hoku Nohara, New Mexico State, 1B, Sr.
Amanda Pridmore, San Jose State, P, Jr.
Stephanie Ricketts, Hawai’i, P, Jr.
Jenna Rodriguez, Hawai’i, OF, Sr.
Caitlin Stiglich, Fresno State, C, Sr.
Player of the Year
Kelly Majam, So., Hawai’i
Pitcher of the Year
Stephanie Ricketts, Jr., Hawai’i
AMERICAN FREEDOM GOLD:
Hannah Wagner (2011, C/3rd) – Charleston Southern University (Div. I, Big South Conference)
Erin Lowell (2012, 2nd/OF) – Incarnate Word University (Div. II, Lone Star Conference)
An Old Choctaw Saying
One evening an old Choctaw told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
“One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”The other is God - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ”Which wolf wins?”
The old Choctaw simply replied, “The one you feed.”
King of the Mountain Softball Tournament
March 25-27, 2011
373 teams registered as of date
Average 12-15 players per team
Teams: Alabama – 30; Florida – 35; Ohio – 6; Tennessee – 7; a few from South Carolina, North Carolina and Kentucky; the rest from all across Georgia.
CAMsports is bringing in 373 softball teams to surrounding metro Atlanta areas for the weekend of March 25-27, 2011, to compete in the King of the Mountain annual tournament. This is the 15th year for this event. We will be hosting approximately 5,000 families from eight (8) states and utilizing twelve (12) different venues/parks and 63 fields. (A listing of the venues is at the bottom of the page.)
12 venues in the metro Atlanta area:
8U - 11 teams – Peachtree City (Meade Park)
10U A – 28 teams – Carrollton (East Carrollton)
10U B – 31 teams – Conyers (Earl O’Neal Softball Complex)
12U A – 39 teams – Lovejoy (Lovejoy Regional Park) and Fayetteville (McCurry Park)
12U B – 66 teams – Watkinsville (Oconee Veterans Park)
14U A – 50 teams – Lovejoy (Lovejoy Regional Park) and Fayetteville (McCurry Park)
14U B – 54 teams – McDonough (Heritage Park and Moseley Park)
16U A & B – 50 teams – Covington (Turner Lake Park) and Oxford (Stone Road Park) and Conyers (Earl O’Neal Softball Complex)
18U A & B – 44 teams – Jackson (Daughtry Park) and Forsyth (Monroe County Sports Complex)