ESPN released their preseason top-25 poll for NCAA DI softball and the expected usuals are in, what we’ll call, the elite category.
The Oklahoma Sooners, Tennessee Volunteers, Stanford Cardinal, Florida State Seminoles, and Texas Longhorns round out the top five spots. Meanwhile, usually contenders in the tournament such as Clemson, UCLA, and Washington are in the top 10.
However, the one and only Oregon Ducks received a handful of votes and were slotted at No. 13 in the preseason poll.
The Ducks finished the 2023 season with a 38-17 record. They are the fourth-highest-ranked Pac-12 team in the poll (Stanford, UCLA, and Washington flailing before them).
Leading the team will most likely be catcher Emma Kauf, voted within the top 100 players in the upcoming season and the No. 9 catcher in the NCAA by Softball America.
Oregon’s first opponent of the upcoming season will be the Indiana Hoosiers on February 8th at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.