Pacific Softball: Tigers Picked To Finish Fifth By The Coaches In The Big West
With the 2011 season just on the horizon, the Pacific softball team was slotted to finish in fifth place by the coaches of the Big West in the annual Big West Coaches Poll as announced on Tuesday, February 1.
In 2010, the Tigers finished in a tie for fourth place at 10-11 in the conference despite suffering season-ending injuries to key players throughout the year. Entering the season the Tigers return 10 letterwinners, including three players significant contributors who were medical redshirts, and seven starters off the 2010 squad. A deep roster is bolstered by the arrival of five freshmen who are projected to make immediate impacts at both the plate and in the field.
Pacific returns five All-Big West selections from a season ago including sophomore Nikki Armagost, the reigning Freshman Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-Big West Pitcher selection. In addition to her stellar season in the circle, Armagost earned second team honors as a utility player as she spent time at first base and in the heart of the Tigers' order while not pitching. Sophomore Megan Hom earned first team honors as Pacific's starting center fielder in her first season of action. Senior Lindsey Pierce enters her final season of play at Pacific coming off of her most productive season in the Orange and Black after earning second team honors as an outfielder as a junior. Sophomore Megan Allen and junior Alexa Rivera each earned honorable mention honors in 2010, teaming up to patrol the middle of the infield for the Tigers.
In addition to the returns of five all-conference honorees, the Tigers will look towards the return of 2008 Freshman Player of the Year Nicole Matson, who sat out the majority of 2010 with a knee injury, to anchor a vaunted Pacific attack at the plate. Sophomore Gabby McDaniel returns from a broken leg to Pacific's stable of pitching as the Tigers boast four-arms on their roster that can take the ball against any of Pacific's opposition.
Headlining the 2011 conference preseason poll is Cal Poly, who received three first-place votes and 54 points. Co-Big West Champs UC Davis and Cal State Northridge were voted second and third, respectively, with the Aggies picking up 51 points and three first place votes while the Matadors tallied 41 points. The Aggies were the lone Big West team to reach the NCAA tournament last season after receiving the conferences' automatic bid.
2011 BIG WEST PRESEASON SOFTBALL COACHES POLL
No. Team Pts
1 Cal Poly (3) 54
2 UC Davis (3) 51
3 Cal State Northridge 41
4 Long Beach State 39
5 Pacific 34
6 Cal State Fullerton (1) 31
7 UC Santa Barbara 22
8 UC Riverside (1) 1
(First Place Votes)