Michigan Garners its Second Top-Five Preseason Ranking

Jan. 28, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The University of Michigan softball team received the No. 4 position in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball poll Tuesday (Jan. 28), its second top-five ranking in the inaugural national polls of 2014. The Wolverines were previously voted No. 5 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll.

The Maize and Blue received 411 points total, placing U-M between No. 3 Florida (448 points) and No. 5 Washington (409 points). Tennessee opens the season as the No. 1 team in the country, the same spot it holds in the USA Today/NFCA preseason ranking, with Oklahoma in the No. 2 position.

The two national polls have the same quintet of teams occupying the top five positions, but with Florida and Michigan moved ahead of Washington in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Nebraska is the other Big Ten representative in the preseason poll at No. 9.

Michigan is the six-time defending Big Ten champion and finished 2013 with a record of 51-13. The Maize and Blue earned its 10th Women's College World Series berth in 2013 and closed the season at No. 6 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.

In 2014, the Wolverines will be led by head coach Carol Hutchins, who is now entering her 30th season at the helm. She is the third-winningest coach in NCAA softball history with a total of 1,325 career wins, including 1,302 at Michigan.

Michigan returns 16 letterwinners, including reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) and All-Big Ten performers Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield), Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville), Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian), Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) and Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modeno).

The Wolverines are scheduled to play nine teams ranked in the preseason poll. U-M opens the season against Florida and South Florida on Saturday, Feb. 7, in Tampa, Fla.

Rank Team
1 Tennessee
2 Oklahoma
3 Florida
5 Washington
6 Alabama
7 Arizona State
8 Oregon
9 Nebraska
10 Texas
11 Texas A&M
12 Florida State
14 Kentucky
15 Louisiana Lafayatte
16 Baylor
17 Missouri
18 Louisville
19 LSU
20 Stanford
21 Georgia
22 South Alabama
23 South Florida
24 California
25 UAB

Interested in 2014 season tickets? Sign up for the season ticket interest list!

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (mkasibor@umich.edu)

Sign up for Michigan Insider to be the first to learn about 2018 Michigan softball ticket opportunities.