Tigers Receive Votes in Preseason NFCA Poll
January 26, 2005
AUBURN - Auburn softball received 58 votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 preseason poll, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced Wednesday.
It is the second straight poll the Tigers have received votes on a national scale. On Tuesday, Auburn received 26 votes in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Collegiate Poll.
Auburn is just six points behind No. 25 Hofstra in the NFCA Top 25 poll.
"We're very close to being in the top 25," head coach Tina Deese said. "We know that it's a preseason ranking but it gives us something to work toward. We're playing in competitive tournaments early in the season and that will give us a chance to prove ourselves early on."
Auburn, which finished 42-18 last season, broke into the NFCA Top 25 poll for the first time in the program's history on March 30, debuting at No. 22. The Tigers reached their highest poll ranking, No. 12, on May 11, but after losses to Hofstra and Fresno State in the NCAA Tournament, fell to 23rd to end the season.
LSU is the top-ranked team representing the Southeastern Conference, taking the No. 5 slot to begin the season. Seventh-ranked Georgia, No. 12 Alabama and No. 14 Tennessee fill out the SEC's spots in the top 25. Florida also received 51 votes, placing the Gators immediately after Auburn.
Stanford, which will host Auburn Feb. 26 in Palo Alto, was tabbed as the No. 6 team in the nation, while South Florida, the Tigers' opening day opponent in Miami, is ranked 21st.
For the second straight poll, California, which finished the 2004 season as the runner-up to national champion UCLA, was voted No. 1 in the preseason poll. The Bruins were tabbed the No. 2 team in the nation in the NFCA preseason poll.
The NFCA top 25 poll is voted upon by 30 NCAA Division I coaches representing each conference.
Auburn opens the 2005 season Feb. 4 at the Diamond Fun & Sun Classic. First pitch against South Florida is set for 9 a.m. The Tigers then square off against Illinois State at 11 a.m.