BYU was selected to finish first in the MWC preseason softball poll
PROVO -- A voting panel of the six Mountain West Conference head softball coaches chose defending league champion BYU as the favorite to win the 2011 MWC regular-season title.
The Cougars collected four first-place votes and 24 total points. San Diego State was a close second with 22 points and two first-place votes, while UNLV was picked third, totaling 15 points. Colorado State received 13 points for fourth place in the poll, while Utah (11 points) and New Mexico (five points) claimed fifth and sixth place, respectively, to round out the preseason rankings.
In 2010, BYU (46-13 overall, 12-3 MWC) registered its sixth consecutive 40-win season on the way to its fifth MWC regular-season title and sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cougars became the first MWC team to advance to an NCAA Super Regional. BYU head coach Gordon Eakin returns 11 letterwinners from last year's MWC championship squad, including seven starters. Among the returning starters are 2010 all-MWC honorees Paige Affleck (three-year starting pitcher), Jessica Purcell-Fitu (catcher) and Kristin Delahoussaye (second base).
The 2011 MWC softball season is set to begin on Thursday, Feb. 10, as BYU takes on Oregon and Texas Tech, and Utah faces Mississippi at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Conference play opens Friday, Apr. 8, with three games on the docket.
2011 MWC Preseason Poll
Team (1st place votes) Points
1. BYU (4) 24
2. San Diego State (2) 22
3. UNLV 15
4. Colorado State 13
5. Utah 11
6. New Mexico 5