Jan. 21, 2004
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team has been selected by the Pacific Coast Softball Conference coaches to place second in the 2004 league standings.
Loyola Marymount, last seasons' conference champion, received three first-place votes and is this year's preseason favorite. After sharing the same preseason honor last season with Sacramento State, LMU claimed the 2003 inaugural PCSC title by going 14-5 in conference play and finishing with a 33-20 overall record. The Lions, who led the nation in doubles per game and ranked 14th in slugging percentage, return most of that offense for the 2004 season.
Santa Clara received one first-place vote and tied with Sacramento State to share the No. 2 spot. The Hornets, co-preseason favorite with LMU in 2003, finished PCSC play in fourth place at 9-9, and completed its overall record at 30-26. Sac State ranked 17th in the nation in triples per game, averaging 0.30 a game. Santa Clara finished second in the PCSC in 2003, after going 12-6 in conference and 30-25 overall. Returning Bronco pitcher Jaime Forman-Lau's earned run average of 1.32 landed her among the nation's top 50 pitchers.
Portland State earned 13 points in the poll, good for the fourth spot. The Vikings' PCSC record of 10-8 gave them a third-place finish in the 2003 conference season. Saint Mary's and San Diego round out the preseason poll, each garnering seven points. Saint Mary's went 7-12 and finished fifth in PCSC play, while San Diego was 3-15.
Santa Clara will open the 2004 season at a tournament hosted by UC Santa Barbara January 30-February 1. The Broncos will open against Oregon State and play the host Gauchos later that afternoon. Santa Clara will also play Long Beach State and Illinois-Chicago at the tournament.
After challenging non-conference schedules across the league, PCSC teams open conference play on April 3.
2004 PCSC Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Place||School (first-place votes)||Points|
|1||Loyola Marymount (3)||23|
|2t||Sacramento State (2)||20|
|2t||Santa Clara (1)||20|