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No. 4 Florida opens the 2014 campaign Feb. 6 in Tampa.

Tuesday January 21, 2014Florida Softball Ranked No. 4 in USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky.

No. 4 Florida opens the 2014 campaign Feb. 6 in Tampa.

The Gator softball team will begin the 2014 campaign ranked No. 4 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll, announced Tuesday by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

 

Florida has been ranked in eight of nine preseason USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Polls under ninth-year head coach Tim Walton, and this year marks the Gators’ fourth top-four preseason ranking, joining the  2009 (No. 1), 2010 (No. 3) and 2012 (No. 2) squads. The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll is scheduled to be released Jan. 28.

 

The Gators are scheduled to face against eight teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 preseason poll this year, including No. 1 Tennessee, No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 Alabama, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 14 Missouri, No. 15 Florida State, No. 17 LSU and No. 25 USF. In addition, Gator opponents Arkansas, Wisconsin, N.C. State and Auburn are receiving votes in the poll.  

 

The Orange and Blue finished 2013 with a 58-9 record, leading the nation in wins. Florida captured its fourth SEC title with an 18-6 mark in conference play. The Gators earned their 14th NCAA Tournament bid in school history and played host to an NCAA Regional for the ninth straight year.

 

Florida enters the 2014 season just two victories shy of the program’s 800th win. The Gators will look to their two returning All-Americans, senior pitcher Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) and junior pitcher/first baseman Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) to provide leadership on a squad that returns 14 letterwinners and welcomes four incoming freshmen and one junior college transfer.  

 

UF will begin the 2014 season in Tampa, Fla., with a game against 25th-ranked USF on Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. ET, followed by five games in the Wilson-DeMarini Invitational. In this season-opening tournament, the Gators will face No. 5 Michigan and play two games against Wisconsin, which is receiving votes in the initial rankings. Florida’s full 2014 schedule can be found on GatorZone.com.

 

Be sure to follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Florida softball.

 

View the complete NFCA Top 25 Poll here.

 

Rank

        Team

2013 Record

Totals

Final 2013 Poll

1

Tennessee (7)

52-12

729

2

 

2

Oklahoma (17)

57-4

720

1

 

3

Washington (1)

45-17

702

4

 

4

FLORIDA (6)

58-9

684

5

 

5

Michigan (1)

51-13

652

6

 

6

Alabama

45-15

604

10

 

7

Arizona State

50-12

593

7

 

8

Oregon

50-11

576

9

 

9

Nebraska

45-16

572

8

 

10

Texas

51-10

532

3

 

11

Texas A&M

42-18

383

13

 

12

Kentucky

41-21

374

14

 

13

Louisiana Lafayette

47-15

367

12

 

14

Missouri

38-14

357

11

 

15

Florida State

44-19

317

15

 

16

UCLA

40-20

282

21

 

17

LSU

42-16

269

18

 

18

Baylor

42-17

244

20

 

19

Louisville

48-13

235

19

 

20

South Alabama

48-9

194

17

 

21

UAB

40-19

181

16

 

22

Stanford

39-21

164

22

 

23

Georgia

40-21

149

RV

 

24

California

38-19

125

23

 

25

USF

45-16

98

RV

 

Others Receiving Votes:  Hawai’i (86), Arizona (45), Arkansas (28), Hofstra (27), Tulsa (23), Wisconsin (21), N.C. State (16), Auburn (10), Long Beach State (8), Notre Dame (8), Virginia Tech (8), Houston (6), BYU (5), Oregon State (3), North Carolina (2), Western Kentucky (1)

 

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