January 20, 2005

PCSC Coaches List Santa Clara Third for 2005

Jan. 20, 2005

SEATTLE, Wash. - Pacific Coast Softball Conference coaches have selected Loyola Marymount as the favorite to win the PCSC championship in the 2005 preseason coaches' poll. The Lions, who earned three first-place votes, edged Sacramento State by two votes in the poll. Sacramento State also garnered three-first place nods, and was followed by 2004 PCSC Champion Santa Clara in third. Portland State claimed the fourth spot, while San Diego and Saint Mary's rounded out the 2005 poll.

Head Coach Gary Ferrin leads LMU into action in 2005 after finishing the 2004 season two games behind PCSC-leader Santa Clara. The 2004 race for the title came down to the final weekend of conference play, similar to the inaugural season of league action in 2003, when the Lions were crowned conference champions. LMU returns 2004 PCSC Player of the Year Danielle Kaminaka and welcomes four newcomers to an already solid squad. Sacramento State, who finished in a tie for third, will look to a newcomer to step into a starting pitcher role to join returning All-PCSC first-team selection Brianne Ferguson in the circle for the Hornets and Head Coach Kathy Strahan.

Santa Clara, picked to finish third after a league-best 16-4 record a year ago, will have to replace the void in the circle left by two-time PCSC Pitcher of the Year Jaime Forman-Lau, but not entirely. Forman-Lau moved from the circle to the dugout to serve as head coach for the Broncos. She will lead the defending conference champions as they return three All-PCSC first-team selections in juniors Jenny Brown, Shannon Linerud and Jessica Clee. Head Coach Teri Mariani and Portland State, the coaches' pick for fourth place this season after tying Sacramento State for third at 10-10 in 2004, returns All-PCSC second-team honoree Michelle Hext.

San Diego and Saint Mary's round out the poll after both finishing with 5-15 records in PCSC action last season. Returning 2004 PCSC Freshman of the Year Rebekah Bradford will lead the Toreros for Head Coach Melissa McElvain, while first year SMC Head Coach Jessica Hanaseth will look to replace 2004 All-PCSC selections Jennifer Eaton and Jennifer Arnold.

Member schools begin non-conference action the first week of February, with the Broncos opening up on the first at San Francisco State. First pitch of that doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. The 2005 PCSC schedule opens on Saturday, April 2, with the Broncos hosting Sacramento State at Marsalli Park.

2005 PCSC Preseason Coaches' Poll

Place School (first-place votes)Points
1 Loyola Marymount (3) 23
2 Sacramento State (3) 21
3 Santa Clara 17
4 Portland State 14
5 San Diego 9
6 Saint Mary's 6