SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Brigham Young University has been tabbed by the league coaches to win the West Coast Conference Softball Championship this spring, it was announced by the league office Wednesday.
BYU earned top billing collecting five of the six first-place votes and totaled 25 points in the poll. The defending WCC Champion is coming off a 39-23, 12-2 WCC record, after capturing its 10th consecutive postseason bid that ended at the NCAA Regional Semifinal. Thirteen-year head coach Gordon Eakin returns 12 players from that squad, including All-American outfielder Gordy Bravo, All-Conference first team selection Tori Almond, and All-Conference second team honoree Ashlee Robinson. Four sophomores are also returning to the Cougars that include catcher/outfielder Sydney Broderick, infielder Lauren Bell, outfielder/second baseman McKenzie St. Clair, and pitcher McKenna Bull all of which were named to this year's preseason All-Conference team.
The University of Pacific tallied 19 points to garner the second spot in the survey. The Tigers ended the 2014 campaign 20-28, 8-7 season and are looking to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011. Pacific places juniors Sara Anderson and Nicole Zapotoczny on the preseason All-WCC team.
Just two points separated third place, with Saint Mary's College (23-27, 8-7) earning the advantage over Loyola Marymount University (20-27, 1-13). Saint Mary's totaled 17 points and one first place vote, while LMU acquired 15 points from the ballot. After a five-year absence from NCAA postseason play, the Gaels will look to juniors Andrea Hazel and Lujane Mussadi. Last year, the Lions finished the season 20-27, 1-13 land three upperclassman featuring junior shortstop Stephanie Maciel, senior second baseman Sterling Shuster and junior pitcher Sydney Gouveia.
San Diego (26-21, 10-5) garnered nine points and Santa Clara (10-34, 5-10) acquired five points round out the six-team field. For the Toreros, senior third baseman Chloe Kaneko and sophomore outfielder Olivia Sandusky, along with Broncos senior catcher Breezy Bernard were named to the All-WCC preseason list.
All six West Coast Conference teams open the season this weekend. For a complete interactive schedule, please visit WCCsports.com, and follow @WCCsports on Twitter for updates throughout the season.
2015 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
|Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
|Saint Mary's (1)||17|
2015 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM
|Lauren Bell||Brigham Young||So.||INF|
|Breezy Bernard||Santa Clara||Sr.||C|
|Sydney Broderick||Brigham Young||So.||C/OF|
|Andrea Hazel||Saint Mary's||Jr..||C|
|Chloe Kaneko||San Diego||Sr.||3B|
|Stephanie Maciel||Loyola Marymount||Jr.||SS|
|McKenzie St. Clair||Brigham Young||So.||OF/2B|
|Olivia Sandusky||San Diego||So.||OF|
|Sterling Shuster||Loyola Marymount||Sr.||2B|
|McKenna Bull||Brigham Young||So.|
|Sydney Gouveia||Loyola Marymount||Jr.|
|Lujane Mussadi||Saint Mary's||Jr.|