Arizona Ranked 13th in NFCA Preseason Poll - Tucson News Now

Arizona Ranked 13th in NFCA Preseason Poll


TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona softball has been selected 13th in the NFCA Preseason Top 25, released on Tuesday.

The No. 13 ranking matches Arizona’s final ranking after its 41-20 2015 campaign. Arizona finished third in the Pac-12 a season ago and advanced to its 10th NCAA Super Regional in 11 seasons.

Arizona will be forced to replace much of its offense from a season ago with the graduation of four of its top five hitters in the batting order, but UA will feature a rejuvenated pitching staff that includes the newcomer lefty duo of Danielle O’Toole (junior transfer from San Diego State) and Taylor McQuillin (freshman). 

All-American Katiyana Mauga, whose 46 career home runs are tied for third in NCAA history after two seasons, will anchor an offense that finished fourth in home runs (104), fifth in batting average (.351), sixth in slugging percentage (.603) and seventh in runs/game (7.56) in 2015.

The Wildcats are one of six Pac-12 teams in the Top 25, joining Oregon (6), UCLA (7), Washington (20), California (21) and Arizona State (22). Utah is also receiving votes in the poll.

After winning back-to-back NCAA titles, Florida has been tabbed as the favorite, receiving 26 of the 32 first-place votes. The Gators are followed by 2015 runner-up Michigan. LSU (3), Auburn (4) and Alabama (5) round out the top five.

The Wildcats are scheduled to face 10 Top 25 teams, including five of the top eight teams in the poll.

Arizona is ranked 15th in the USA Softball Preseason Top 25, also released on Tuesday.

Up Next: Arizona will open the 2016 campaign at home as it will host the Hillenbrand Invitational Feb. 11-14 at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats and Southern Utah will open the season on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. MST.

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