LA JOLLA, Calif. - On Wednesday the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) released its annual Preseason Coaches Poll with the UC San Diego softball team picked to finish in fourth place.
UCSD earned 57 points and one first place vote and was tabbed to qualify for the CCAA Tournament as the defending champion.
UCSD returns a strong group from the 2012 squad that won a record 45 games for the second year in a row. The Tritons went 10-4 at the 2012 NCAA Tournament, returning to the national title game, also for the second straight season. Head Coach Patti Gerckens' squad survived nine consecutive elimination games during the tournament run.
This season, the offensive attack will be led by junior shortstop Mya Romero and junior Caitlin Brown, an All-West Region First Team selection. The circle will feature a variety of pitchers with senior leadership coming from Michelle Escamilla. The Tritons boast a speedy outfield highlighted by Taylor Sepulveda in the center. Expect early impact from the Tritons nine incoming true freshman.
Cal State Dominguez Hills totaled 72 points and garnered five first-place votes to finish first in the poll, ahead of Cal State Monterey Bay, which received 70 points and three first-place votes. Sonoma State is projected to finish third for the second year in a row after totaling 66 points with a single first place vote.
Following UCSD in fourth, Chico State was picked fifth with 46 points, while Humboldt State followed with 43 points. Cal State East Bay and Cal State San Bernardino tied for seventh with 30 points. San Francisco State (22) and Cal State Stanislaus (14) rounded out the season ranks to finish ninth and tenth, respectively.
Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Monterey Bay, Sonoma State, and UC San Diego are the coaches' choices to represent the conference in the 2013 CCAA Championship Tournament with the Toros picked to claim the title. The annual CCAA tournament is scheduled for May 3-5 at Arnaiz Stadium in Stockton.
Cal State San Bernardino and UC San Diego will be the first conference teams to open their season when they host Azusa Pacific and Western Oregon, respectively, for doubleheaders on Feb. 1. The first week of conference play is slated for Feb. 6 when the Tritons host the Coyotes for a mid-week season series.
2013 CCAA Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Cal State Dominguez Hills (5), 72 points
2. Cal State Monterey Bay (3), 70 points
3. Sonoma State (1), 66 points
4. UC San Diego (1), 57 points
5. Chico State, 46 points
6. Humboldt State, 43 points
T-7. Cal State East Bay, 30 points
T-7. Cal State San Bernardino, 30 points
9. San Francisco State, 22 points
10. Cal State Stanislaus, 14 points
Predicted 2013 CCAA Tournament Teams
Cal State Dominguez Hills
Cal State Monterey Bay
UC San Diego
Predicted 2013 CCAA Tournament Champion
Cal State Dominguez Hills, 5 votes
Cal State Monterey Bay, 2 votes
Sonoma State, 2 votes
UC San Diego, 1 vote
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