Jan. 18, 2003
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The NCAA Division I Management Council Administrative Committee announced the approval of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) for Division I conference membership in women's softball on October 17, 2002. The inaugural season of PCSC softball is slated to begin on April 5, 2003.
Wendy Guthrie, former Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of San Diego and current professor in the Sport Management Masters program at the University of San Francisco, will serve as Commissioner of the new conference. Dr. Bill Husak, Director of Athletics at Loyola Marymount University, has taken on the role of President of the Conference Officers.
The conference is comprised of six schools: California State University- Sacramento, Loyola Marymount University, Portland State University, Saint Mary's College of California, Santa Clara University, and the University of San Diego. Prior to joining the PCSC, the schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference, Western Intercollegiate Softball League, and Big West Conference for softball league play.
"Entering this inaugural season of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference is exciting for the six charter members. It signifies what is possible in collegiate athletics when universities who are committed to a sport come together and create an enhanced experience for so many of their student-athletes, " PCSC President Husak said. "We anticipate that the conference will have an impactful initial year and will begin to establish itself as an outstanding competitive league."
One of the objectives of the PCSC is to provide the teams with an opportunity for an automatic qualifying bid to NCAA tournament play. The conference will be eligible to apply for the automatic bid in the 2005 season. "I have been impressed with the diligence of the institutions' administrators in forming this conference, the collegiality among the softball coaches, and the student-athletes' desire for competitive success in order to bring the Pacific Coast Softball Conference to national recognition," Commissioner Guthrie said. "The creation of the PCSC was a result of a clear need for a quality championship experience for the student-athletes, and one that would realize the opportunity for these players and coaches to have access to the NCAA tournament."
Sacramento State and Loyola Marymount have been selected by the PCSC Coaches as the preseason favorites to finish first in the 2003 Pacific Coast Softball Conference standings. Sacramento State finished the 2002 season 18-33 overall and 7-17 in Big West Conference play. The Hornets went on to finish their fall season with a record of 7-0, including two victories over defending national champion California. After falling to Santa Clara in the Western Intercollegiate Softball League title game, Loyola Marymount ended its 2002 season with a record of 38-34. The Lions won 16 of their final 20 contests and earned a ranking of No. 8 in the West Region.
Portland State earned the third spot in the preseason poll. The Vikings enter the PCSC following an 11-13 run in the Western Athletic Conference. Portland State's 11 conference wins were the most since the team joined the WAC in 2000. The Vikings finished 22-35 overall.
Santa Clara was picked to finish fourth in the poll, followed by St. Mary's and San Diego.
2003 PCSC Coaches Preseason Poll
|Place||School (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||Sacramento State (2)||21|
|1.||Loyola Marymount (2)||21|
|3.||Portland State (2)||18|