Jan. 30, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The New Mexico softball team has been picked sixth in the Mountain West Conference Preseason Coaches Poll as announced Tuesday by the league office. The Lobos enter the season under the leadership of new head coach Ty Singleton and hope to build upon last years 23-31 overall record. San Diego State claimed the top honor with BYU and Utah rounding out the top three spots.
San Diego State has been selected to win the Mountain West Conference softball regular-season title in a vote by the league coaches. San Diego State received five first-place votes, while BYU also received one. San Diego State, who won the regular-season crown in 2002, 2003 and 2006, collected 25 points to capture the top spot in the poll. UNLV tallied 19 points to place second in the poll, followed by last year's regular-season runner-up BYU (17 points), Utah (14 points), Colorado State (10 points) and New Mexico (five points).
The Aztecs, coming off a 34-15-0 overall record (15-3-0 MWC) last season, return 10 letterwinners this year, including all-American and MWC Freshman of the Year Erin Floros (sophomore, catcher). San Diego State will also be led by all-conference performer and MWC Pitcher of the Year Christina Ross (junior, pitcher) and Monica Alnes (sophomore, infielder) The Rebels, (26-37-0, 8-12-0 MWC) who suffered through injuries in 2006, will be led by all-conference performer Brittany Freight (senior, outfielder) and all-tournament member Shannon Crisp (junior, designated player). UNLV will also welcome back the 2005 Freshman of the Year and all-American Marissa Nichols (junior, outfielder), who missed most of the 2006 season due to injury.
BYU, 43-22 overall (15-5-0 MWC) placed third in this season's poll. The Cougars return seven starters this season, including all-MWC selections Andrea Ramierz (sophomore, infielder), Jodi Norton (senior, infielder) and Jennifer Whiteley (senior, outfielder). Utah (40-21-0 overall, 10-8-0 MWC) won the MWC tournament crown last season and will be led this year by two 2006 all-conference selections and new coach Angie Jacobs. Returning for the Utes are Karina Cannon (senior, pitcher) and Diana Phillips (junior, outfielder). Colorado State (26-26-0 overall, 6-14-0 MWC) and New Mexico (23-31-0 overall, 4-16-0 MWC) were picked to finish fifth and sixth this season after finishing in similar order last year. The Rams return seven letterwinners, including all-MWC performers Jessica Strickland (senior, pitcher) and Lauren Cusick (junior, infielder), while the Lobos welcome back 13 letterwinners and new coach Ty Singleton.
The 2007 season starts Thursday, Feb. 8, with BYU, Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV all seeing tournament action. The 2007 conference season opens Thursday, April 5.