Friday, January 28, 2011

Cougars, Aztecs both get Top 25 votes


Both BYU and San Diego State received recognition in the two major preseason national polls released this week.

The Cougars, who are about to begin their last season in the Mountain West Conference, are ranked No. 16 in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25, and stand at No. 20 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25.

San Diego State received votes in both polls, ranking No. 27 in the ESPN.com poll and tied for No. 42 in the NFCA poll.

Yesterday it was announced that BYU will join the Western Athletic Conference in softball beginning in the 2012 season. A lot of jockeying and maneuvering between the Mountain West and WAC is taking place over the next two seasons.

Next season, Boise State moves from the WAC to the Mountain West in all sports, including softball. Then in the 2012-13 season, perennial softball power Fresno State will leave the WAC and join the Mountain West, along with Nevada.

Fresno State is the nation's only softball team to be invited to all 29 NCAA Tournaments in history. The Bulldogs have been to the Women's College World Series 12 times with one NCAA championship (1998), four appearances in the national championship game, and three runner-up finishes. Coach Margie Wright's team has reached an NCAA regional final the past three years and enters this season ranked No. 26 in the NFCA poll.

The Bulldogs eliminated San Diego State in last year's NCAA Los Angeles Regional, which was won by eventual national champion UCLA.

Nevada has made NCAA Tournament appearances in three of the past four years, and Boise State is beginning its third season of Division I softball this season.