Blue Demons Rank No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Poll
CHICAGO The DePaul softball team debuted at No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Poll it was announced today by USA Softball. The Blue Demons received 324 points and are coming off their fourth Women's College World Series. DePaul finished the 2007 season with an impressive 47-13 record, including perfect 20-0 BIG EAST Conference record.
Defending National Champion Arizona was No. 1 in the poll and finished 487 points including 14 first place votes. Arizona State and Texas A&M followed in the two and three spots, while Alabama and Oklahoma round out the top five.
The Blue Demons return 10 players from their 2007 roster including sophomore All-American pitcher Becca Heteniak and BIG EAST All-Conference performers Amber Patton, Sandy Vojik and Jackie Tarulli-Fisher.
DePaul faces a daunting tournament and conference schedule as the squad is slated to face 13 teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason top 25. DePaul squares off with No. 3 Texas A&M on Feb. 29 at the NFCA Lead Off Classic and sees No. 1 Arizona and No. 14 Washington at the Judi Garman Classic March 20-22.
The Blue Demons close out the home portion of their schedule on April 29 when they welcome No. 4 Alabama and No. 6 Northwestern to Cacciatore Stadium for the DePaul Invitational.
BIG EAST rivals Louisville and South Florida are each receiving votes in the poll.
Last week the Blue Demons were ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll.
DePaul opens 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).