USA Softball Ranked 20th In Preseason Poll
The University of South Alabama Softball team set a new first in program history on Tuesday. After repeating and Conference champs last season and hosting their very first NCAA Tournament regional, the Jaguars are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Division I preseason Top 25 poll.
USA earned a spot at #20 in the preseason poll and are one of two Sun Belt schools in the top 25 as Louisiana-Lafayette was voted #13. Western Kentucky received voted but were not ranked in the top 25.
Last season the Jaguars posted a 48-9 record overall and reached the championship game of the NCAA Tournament regional and were ranked #17.
Three other teams from the State of Alabama were ranked or received votes in the poll. Alabama was ranked #6, USA #20, UAB #21 and Auburn received votes but were not in the top 25.
USA will play UAB on February 6 at Jaguar Field then again on February 19 in Birmingham. The Jags will also play Alabama on April 2 in Tuscaloosa.
USA will face other preseason top 25 teams as well. They will face #23 Georgia three times (twice in Georgia tournament February 15, 16 and once in Orlando tournament on February 23), #18 ranked Baylor in the Gulfport, MS. tournament, #17 LSU on April 23 in Baton Rouge and #13 ULL April 12-13 in Lafayette.
They will also face Virginia Tech and Western Kentucky, both schools receiving votes in the poll, but not enough to rank them in the top 25.
“It is always an honor to be recognized as one of the top programs in the NCAA,” said Jaguar head coach Becky Clark. “As coaches and players, we know that all of this will ultimately be played out on the field. I definitely think the preseason list is an indicator of the type of softball that is being played in the Sun Belt; to have two teams in the Top 20 and another team receiving votes is a testament to the hard work put in by the coaches and student-athletes in our conference.”
Jaguar Field is undergoing renovations that should be ready by the time the season starts. The Softball team is also getting a new indoor batting and pitching complex, a new and larger press box, sunken dugouts and will have seating that will wrap around from dugout to dugout.
The Jags are returning seven starters from last season. Their season begins on February 6th against UAB at Jaguar Field. First pitch is set for 6pm.