Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
01-23-08 NFCA Preseason Poll
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 23, 2008
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STARKVILLE, Miss. ?C The two-time defending national champion Arizona softball team has been named the No. 1 team in the nation after the Wildcats received 27 of a possible 29 first-place votes in the USA Today/NFCAˇ?s preseason poll released Wednesday.

UAˇ?s top-billing marks the 18th consecutive year in which the Wildcats have been ranked No. 1 for at least part of the year in the national rankings.

The Wildcats are coming off a 2007 campaign in which they posted a 50-14-1 record en route to the 10th Pacific-10 Conference title and eighth NCAA Championship in program history.

Arizona returns six position starters and All-American pitcher Taryne Mowatt, as UA seeks the first three-peat in program history.

The Wildcats open their title defense in Tempe at the Kajikawa Classic on Feb. 15 against Notre Dame. The next day UA will be put to the test with consecutive games against No. 7 Northwestern and second-ranked Texas A&M.

UAˇ?s schedule does not get any easier, as the Wildcats are slated to face eight of the top 12 teams over the course of the season and to play 27 games against squads ranked in the Top 25.

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1. Arizona (27)

2. Texas A&M

3. Arizona State

4. Alabama

5. Oklahoma

6. Tennessee (1)

7. Northwestern

8. Baylor

9. LSU

10. DePaul

11. Washington

12. Michigan

13. Florida

14. UCLA (1)

15. Hawaii

16. Virginia Tech

17. Georgia Tech

18. Oregon State

19. Stanford

20. Oregon

21. Cal State Fullerton

22. Texas

23. Ohio State

24. Louisiana-Lafayette

25. Missouri

Others Receiving Votes:

Houston 75, South Carolina 74, Georgia 62, Fresno State 42, UMass 38, Creighton 23, Illinois State 23, Florida State 22, California 21, Mississippi State 16, NC State 12, Tennessee Tech 12, Loyola Marymount 8, Nebraska 7, Southern Illinois 7, BYU 7, Hofstra 5, North Carolina 5, Louisville 3, South Florida 3, UNLV 3, Texas Tech 2, Mississippi Valley State 1, Fordham 1, Florida Atlantic 1, Iowa 1

Italics denote 2008 UA opponent.

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