WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – The UC San Diego softball team has been slated to finish second in the 2014 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) standings according to the league's annual preseason coaches’ poll, released Tuesday.
Defending regular-season and tournament champion Humboldt State was picked to repeat once again in 2014. The ‘Jacks garnered eight of 10 first-place votes and 80 total points in the poll.
Following HSU was UCSD in second (68 points), Sonoma State in third (60 points) and Cal State Monterey Bay in fourth (two first-place votes, 59 points) with Chico State rounding out the top five (56 points).
Cal State Dominguez Hills was sixth (35 points) and was trailed by Cal State San Bernardino (28 points), San Francisco State (27 points), Cal State East Bay (21 points) and Cal State Stanislaus (16 points).
UCSD returns all but three players from a 2013 squad that went 33-25 overall and placed second in the CCAA with a 24-12 mark. The Tritons qualified for their seventh trip to the NCAA postseason, where they were defeated by host Humboldt State (7-1) and Grand Canyon (8-3) in the first round of the West Regional.
Head coach Patti Gerckens, going into her 22nd season leading the Tritons, welcomes back the bulk of last year's starting lineup, including Daktronics All-West Region Second Team selection Caitlin Brown. The senior catcher/first basemen was an All-CCAA First Team member after hitting .327 with nine home runs, 42 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 2013.
The Tritons begin their 2014 campaign on Feb. 1 against Western Oregon in a doubleheader starting at noon. UCSD welcomes the Wolves back to Triton Softball Field the following day for two more games, with the start time slated for 10:00 a.m.
The Tritons host 18-straight games at home to start the year, concluding on Mar. 1 against Cal State Monterey Bay. CCAA action kicks off for UCSD Feb. 14 against Chico State in a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Triton Softball Field.
California Collegiate Athletic Association 2014 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
Rank Team (First place votes) Points
1. Humboldt State (8) 80
2. UC San Diego 68
3. Sonoma State 60
4. Cal State Monterey Bay (2) 59
5. Chico State 56
6. Cal State Dominguez Hills 35
7. Cal State San Bernardino 28
8. San Francisco State 27
9. Cal State East Bay 21
10. Cal State Stanislaus 16
CCAA Softball Championship Tournament Teams
Top four teams receiving votes (not in rank order):
UC San Diego
Cal State Monterey Bay
Humboldt State 6
Cal State Monterey Bay 3
UC San Diego 1