Three of four of the major softball rankings have been released, and Arizona softball will once again find itself in everyone’s Top 25. D1 Softball, Softball America, and USA Softball all released their preseason rankings this week.
D1 Softball was first with its release last week. The ranking placed the Wildcats 18th, the lowest of the three polls. It was standard for D1 Softball to have Arizona lower than the other rankings last season before the Wildcats ran through the postseason on the road and landed in Oklahoma City.
Arizona will face a host of teams ranked in the preseason poll both inside and outside Pac-12 play. Just in the conference the USA Softball poll and D1 Softball rankings have five teams ranked and Softball America has six.
Outside the conference, Arizona will face Florida State (USA 4/D1 4/SA 3), Mississippi State (USA RV/SA 23), Virginia Tech (USA 11/D1 13/SA 11), and Arkansas (USA 6/D1 8/SA 7). FSU, MSU, and VA Tech will all be played at the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational, while Arizona will go to Fayetteville to play three games against the Razorbacks the week after they play in Florida.
In the Pac-12, in addition to the Wildcats, UCLA, Washington, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, and Arizona State all appear in it least one of the rankings.
Arizona starts the season against Long Beach State on Feb. 9 at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The NFCA/USA Today poll will be released on Jan. 31.