Cougars Picked Third in American Preseason Poll

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    Jan. 31, 2014

    HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team was picked to finish third in the 2014 American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the league office announced on Friday. Louisville took six of the eight possible first-place votes placing ahead of USF to round out the top-three spots.

    The league’s coaches were responsible for the voting and were not allowed to vote for their own teams. UCF followed Houston trailed by Rutgers, UConn, Memphis and Temple.

    Houston returns nine letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 41-20 and advanced to the NCAA Austin Regional for the third-straight year. During their last season in Conference USA, Houston finished second in the regular season with a 19-5 league mark and advanced to the C-USA Championship game.

    Heading into the American Athletic Conference, the Cougars return the 2013 Conference USA Player of the Year Haley Outon. The senior catcher was recently named to the USA Softball Top 50 “Watch List” for the second-straight year. Six position starters join Outon as the Cougars look to make the NCAA postseason for a program record fourth-straight year.

    The Cougars are receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA and Softball Top 25 polls trailing Louisville (No. 19/18) and USF (No. 25/23) among conference foes.

    Cougar Softball stadium will be the site of the first ever American Championship held May 8-10.

    Houston Softball opens the season with a 12-game home stand beginning with the Hilton Houston Classic from Feb. 14-16. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. against Sam Houston with a game against No. 9 Nebraska to follow.

    2014 American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll
    School (First Place Votes) Points
    1. Louisville (6) 48
    2. USF (2) 44
    3. Houston 37
    4. UCF 29
    5. Rutgers 23
    6. UConn 15
        Memphis 15
    8. Temple 13



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