Florida softball to open season at No. 1
On the heels of its NCAA-record setting winning season last year and third-place finish in the Women's College World Series, the Florida softball team has been voted the preseason No. 1 team in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, released on Wednesday.
The Gators finished the 2008 season ranked third in the USA Today/NFCA poll, the highest final ranking in program history. They also recorded the school’s first-ever number-one ranking by both USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls. The 2008 team won 70 games.
UF head coach Tim Walton returns eight of nine starters from last year’s team, including five All-Americans: junior Francesca Enea; senior Ali Gardiner; senior Stacey Nelson; sophomore Aja Paculba and senior Kim Waleszonia. Nelson was also named the 2008 SEC Pitcher of the Year.
The Gators open the 2009 season with a three-game series against Baylor, starting Friday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.