From a high of No. 7 to a low of No. 15, the preseason polls have Arizona softball all over the map. The USA Today/NFCA poll was the final of the four major polls to weigh in. On Tuesday, the coaches placed the Wildcats at No. 9.
It’s the second-highest preseason ranking for Arizona this year. Softball America has the Wildcats ranked No. 7, exactly the same place they left off at the end of last year. D1 Softball placed Arizona at their lowest, ranking the Wildcats fifteenth to start the year. The ESPN.com/USA Softball poll placed them exactly between the two extremes at No. 11.
As with the other major polls, Arizona is one of five Pac-12 teams to make the top 25. UCLA is ranked No. 3, Washington comes in at No. 5, Oregon stands at No. 18, and ASU at No. 21.
The Wildcats will start their season on Thursday, Feb. 10 against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. The following day, they play the Thunderbirds again in the opening game of the Candrea Classic. These games will be the first played on the newly-named Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.