USF softball picked to finish 5th in Big East
The Big East has released its preseason softball poll of league coaches, and USF has both the motivation of being picked just fifth out of 13th teams, but also an awareness of how up for grabs the conference is this season.
The league's 13 coaches gave five different teams first-place votes -- USF picked up one (and coaches can't vote for their own team) and a total of 19 vote-points separate preseason pick DePaul (130 points) from the Bulls (111), with just 10 points between first and fourth.
The fifth-place pick is actually a spot lower than where USF finished last season, going 33-21 overall and 13-5 in the Big East. As we wrote in our season preview last week, Bulls coach Ken Eriksen has nearly all his bats and his top three pitchers back from 2011, with some top-tier newcomers expected to step in as well.
USF opens its 2012 season with a home doubleheader on Feb. 10 against Maine and Florida Gulf Coast.