Softball Debuts at No. 10 in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll
CHICAGO The DePaul softball team begins its 2008 campaign as the No. 10 team in USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll. The Blue Demons received 462 votes and are coming off their fourth Women's College World Series. DePaul finished the 2007 season 47-13, including a perfect 20-0 BIG EAST Conference record.
Defending NCAA Softball Champion Arizona received 27 of the 29 possible first-place votes for the No. 1 ranking with 721 points. No. 6 Tennessee, the 2007 NCAA runners-up, and No. 14 UCLA received the other two first place votes.
Picked to finish first in the BIG EAST Preseason Poll the Blue Demons return 10 players including sophomore All-American pitcher Becca Heteniak and NFCA All-Mideast Region players in senior Marcy Wilus and junior Amber Patton. Sandy Vojik and Katie Hanson return for their senior season, while nine newcomers join the Blue Demon roster.
DePaul's 2008 schedule includes 14 teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason poll. The Blue Demons square off with No. 1 Arizona at the Judi Garman Classic on March 20 and face No. 2 Texas A&M on Feb. 29 at the NFCA Classic. DePaul's other top-10 opponents include No. 4 Alabama and No. 7 Northwestern. The Crimson Tide and Wildcats visit Lincoln Park on April 29 for the DePaul Invitational.
The Blue Demons are the only BIG EAST team ranked in the preseason poll, however Louisville and USF are each receiving three votes.
The Blue Demons begin the 2008 season at Georgia’s Black and Red Showcase Feb. 8-10. DePaul faces Marshall, Georgia and the College of Charleston during the three-day tournament in Athens, Georgia. DePaul throws the first pitch of the season on Feb. 8 versus Marshall at 11 a.m. (CST).
Others Receiving Votes:
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