Reigning national champions Alabama was named No. 1 by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll. The Tide, which topped off a 60-8 season after claiming the title, earned 25 of 31 possible first-place votes.
Last year's runner-up Oklahoma (54-10) took second with five votes, California (58-7) earned a singlefirst-place tally for third, Arizona State (53-11) was fourth, and Oregon (45-18) rounded out the top five.
Tennessee (52-14), Texas (47-13), Missouri (47-14), Georgia (45-17), and LSU (40-25) placed sixth through 10th, respectively.
In addition to Pac-12 schools Cal, ASU, and Oregon, Arizona (38-19) ranked in at 13th, Washington (39-19) at 16th, UCLA (36-20) at 19th, and Stanford (40-19) at 21st. Oregon State also received votes.
Arizona State, Cal and Oregon all made the Women's College World Series last season, but Cal and ASU fell short in the semifinals and Oregon lost in the second round. That ended a six year run of Pac-10 hegemony at the tournament, where Arizona, ASU, Washington and UCLA all captured titles.