Cajuns preseason Top 10

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.– USA Softball announced their 2009 Preseason Poll and Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns debuted at No. 8.

The Cajuns are ranked in the top 10 in both preseason polls, as they are currently ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll.

The Amateur Softball Association announced today the Florida Gators at No. 1 in the 2009 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 pre-season Poll. A 2008 Women’s College World Series contender, the Gators return all but one starter from the 2008 squad and received 18 first-place votes this week. Led by the pitching efforts of senior Stacey Nelson, the Gators will look to their five returning All-Americans as they fight for a return trip to Oklahoma City.

Close behind Florida is SEC conference foe the University of Alabama at No. 2. The Crimson Tide also reached the WCWS in Oklahoma City, but fell short to the 2008 NCAA defending champion Arizona State who comes into the poll at No. 3 while also earning one first place vote.

Just four points behind the Sun Devils are Pac-10 rivals the UCLA Bruins at No. 4 who received one first-place vote and return 14 letterwinners from their 2008 WCWS team. Rounding out the top five is the University of Michigan at No. 5 while the Oklahoma Sooners land at No. 6 with the return of power hitter Samantha Ricketts and junior pitcher DJ Mathis.

No. 8 Louisiana returns to the 2009 season with sophomore pitching ace Ashley Brignac while 2008 WCWS Final Series team Texas A&M rounds out the top ten at No. 10.

Making a large move from just receiving votes in the final 2008 poll is the University of Washington who is at No. 15 this week thanks to the return of Canadian Olympic pitcher Danielle Lawrie and senior shortstop Ashley Charters.

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