SB: Three Big Ten Teams Represented in Preseason Polls

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Three Big Ten squads are ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USAToday/NFCA Preseason Top 25 polls.

Michigan leads the contingent ranked No. 3 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 4 in the USAToday/NFCA list. Ohio State is ranked No. 16/14 while Northwestern checks in at No. 17/15. Also receiving votes are Purdue in both polls and Iowa in the USAToday/NFCA poll.

The Wolverines welcome back 15 players from its 2009 squad that posted a 47-12-8 record en route to the Big Ten Conference title and the program's ninth NCAA Women's College World Series appearance.

The Wildcats finished the 2009 campaign with a 31-15 record after falling in the NCAA Super Regionals. Fourteen letterwinners will return this season as the 'Cats look for their third Big Ten title and 13th NCAA berth.

The Buckeyes return 14 letterwinners from a year ago after finishing with a 47-11 overall record and making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance.

The first 2010 regular season polls will be released on Tuesday, Feb. 9 (USA Today/NFCA) and Feb. 16 (ESPN.com/USA Softball). The Big Ten season begins Feb. 11 with two teams in action.

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25-Preseason 

Rank    Team    2009 Record    Points    Last Rank in 09
1.    Washington (17)    51-12    479    1
2.    Alabama (1)    54-11    457    3
3.    Michigan    47-12    430    5
4.    Arizona (1)    46-17    424    7
5.    Florida    63-5    407    2
6.    UCLA (1)    45-11    396    10
7.    Arizona State    47-19    387    6
8.    Georgia    47-12    363    4
9.    Missouri    50-12    337    8
10.    Oklahoma    41-16    306    17
11.    California    38-20    282    12
12.    Stanford    48-11    256    9
13.    LSU    34-18-1    234    19
14.    Georgia Tech    46-15    215    13
15.    Baylor    40-22    214    15
16.    Ohio State    47-11    187    11
17.    Northwestern    31-15    167    20
18.    Tennessee    40-18-1    163    16
19.    Florida State    44-16    128    25
20.    DePaul    39-14    107    23
21.    Louisville    48-11    93    24
22.    North Carolina    47-13    91    22
23.    ULL    45-13    84    RV
24.    Fresno State    38-20    70    RV
25.    UMass    41-10    55    14

Others receiving votes:  Kentucky (26), Jacksonville State (17), Auburn (14), North Dakota State (14), Nevada (12), Oregon (11), Oklahoma State (10), Texas (8), Cal Poly (7), Notre Dame (7), Nebraska (6), Texas A&M (5), Ball State (4), BYU (4), San Diego State (4), Long Beach State (3), Purdue (2), New Mexico State (1), Virginia Tech (1) and Western Michigan (1).


USAToday/NFCA-Preseason

RANK  TEAM  '09 Record   TOTALS     Last Poll
1 Washington (30)  51-12  750  1
2 Alabama  54-11 677   3
3 Florida  63-5   649  2
4 Michigan  47-12  625  6
5 Arizona State  47-19  613  5
6 Arizona  46-17  597   7
7 Georgia  47-12  569  4
8 UCLA  45-11  558   9
9 Missouri  50-12 536 8
10 Stanford 48-11 433 10
11 Oklahoma 41-16 401 16
12 California 38-20 370 11
13 Georgia Tech 46-15 319 13
14 Ohio State 47-11 312 12
15 Northwestern 31-15 288 18

16 Tennessee 40-18-1 245 20
17 Baylor 40-22 226 15
18 LSU 34-18-1 219 19
19 North Carolina 47-13 209 17
20 Massachusetts 41-10 199 14
21 DePaul 39-14 178 23
22 Louisville 48-11 166 RV
23 Florida State 44-16 109 22
24 Louisiana-Lafayette 45-13 88 25
25 Fresno State 38-20 75 RV

Others Receiving Votes:
North Dakota St. 44, Jacksonville St. 38, Cal Poly 37, Nevada 31, Nebraska 28, Texas 23, Notre Dame 21, Cal St. Fullerton 17, San Diego St. 15, Iowa 11, Kentucky 11, Purdue 10, Hawai`i 8, Mississippi St. 7, Southern Illinois 7, Cal St. Northridge 6, Texas A&M 6, Tulsa 6, Creighton 4, BYU 3, Houston 3, Oklahoma State 3.


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