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Cajuns Ranked No. 7 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Top 25 Poll
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

LAFAYETTE – For the second straight season, Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns softball team will begin the regular season ranked in the Top 10 of the national polls.

Louisiana, the four-time defending Sun Belt Conference champion with All-American ace Brooke Mitchell returning in the pitching circle, will enter the 2005 season ranked No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason collegiate poll that was released Tuesday – the program’s highest preseason ranking under the direction co-head coaches Stefni and Michael Lotief.

This season’s ranking is the highest for the program in the poll which debuted in February 2003. Last season, the Cajuns debuted at No. 9.

Louisiana received 328 points finishing 13 points behind No. 6 Texas.

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll is voted on by NCAA Division I coaches representing 15 different ASA regions and 11 different collegiate conferences. The poll is also voted on by selected softball media members.

The Cajuns were the lone ranked Sun Belt school and were ranked ahead of in-state rival LSU.

Louisiana finished the 2004 season with a 60-8 record, a school-record for victories, and was ranked No. 10 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball poll after a runner-up spot in the NCAA Regional and Tucson, Ariz., missing the Women’s College World Series by one game. The Cajuns won their fourth straight Sun Belt Conference regular season title by posting the league’s first-ever undefeated conference record (18-0) and claimed their fifth straight Sun Belt Tournament crown.

The Cajuns return a total of 14 letterwinners and eight position starters from that 2004 squad plus adds another potential All-American candidate in Jill Robertson. Mitchell tops the list of returning talent and is expected to be a nominee on the 2005 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List.

“All of these girls have another year of experience now,
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