Softball Ranked No. 9 in All-time Poll

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Softball Ranked No. 9 in All-time Poll

BATON ROUGE — In just seven short years, the LSU softball program has gone from its inaugural season to being ranked the ninth-best all-time program by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

The USA Today/NFCA All-Time Top 50 poll was compiled using the points each team received in the voting polls for the weekly rankings from the 1995 season to the final poll of 2003.

The Tigers are the youngest team to be ranked in the top 10, and are the only program in the top15 that did not begin competing until after the poll began during the 1995 season. The next youngest program ranked in the poll is No. 19 Alabama, which, like LSU, also began competing during the 1997 season.

Two teams – Arizona and Oklahoma – have been ranked in every poll since its inception and Arizona tops the all-time list, finishing in the top five in every year that the poll has existed.

The Tigers have now has been ranked in the coaches poll for 81 consecutive weeks dating back to Feb. 28, 1998. In all, LSU softball has been ranked in a total of 83 of the 95 polls that have been released since the program was reinstated in 1997.

The highest poll ranking for the Tigers was No. 3 nationally. LSU first reached the No. 3 ranking on May 9, 2001 and completed the 2001 season ranked No. 3. The Tigers have now been ranked No. 3 in a total of five polls, including three during the 2002 season. LSU’s highest preseason ranking was No. 4 prior to the 2002 season.

From the preseason poll of 2000 until March 18, 2003, the Tigers were ranked in the top 10 for 48 consecutive weeks. LSU has been ranked in the top 10 in 54 of the 95 polls that have been released since the program was reinstated in 1997.

The Tigers were the highest of five teams ranked among Southeastern Conference schools. Other SEC schools in the poll including No. 13 South Carolina, No. 19 Alabama, No. 36 Georgia and No. 47 Mississippi State.

With five schools represented, the SEC also tied for third best among conferences represented. The Pac-10 and the Big 12 tied for first with eight schools represented by each conference on the poll. The SEC, Big 10 and Big West all had five member schools on the poll, followed by the Mountain West with four representatives and the Southland and Conference USA with three.

LSU will begin the 2004 season with the Tiger Classic from Feb. 6-8 at Tiger Park. The Tigers will begin play against Centenary at 2 p.m. on Feb. 6. LSU will also take on Oklahoma, which was ranked No. 5 in the all-time poll, Illinois and Southeastern Louisiana in the three-day tournament.

NFCA ALL-TIME TOP 50 POLL
1. Arizona
2. UCLA
3. Washington
4. Fresno State
5. Oklahoma
6. Michigan
7. California
8. Arizona State
9. LSU
10. Stanford
11. Cal State Fullerton
12. Nebraska
13. South Carolina
14. Iowa
15. Oregon State
16. UL-Lafayette (*)
17. DePaul
18. Florida State
19. Alabama
20. Texas
21. Oklahoma State
22. South Florida
23. Cal State Northridge
24. Long Beach State
25. Missouri
26. Hawaii
27. Minnesota
28. UNLV
29. Southern Miss
30. Texas A&M
31. Illinois-Chicago
32. Notre Dame
33. Oregon
34. Massachusetts
35. Cal Poly
36. Georgia
37. Florida Atlantic
38. Michigan State
39. Pacific
40. Cal State Sacramento
41. Colorado State
42. Kansas
43. UL-Monroe (*)
44. Ohio State
45. Utah
46. Nicholls State
47. Mississippi State
48. New Mexico
49. Baylor
50. Texas State-San Marcos (*)

* – UL-Lafayette (formerly Southwestern Louisiana), UL-Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana) and Texas State-San Marcos (formerly Southwest Texas) totals represent rankings from both current and former institutional names.