Jan. 14, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With the UCF softball season-opener less than a month away, Conference USA released its 2009 Preseason Coaches' Poll Wednesday, with the Knights tabbed to finish fourth among the nine-team field behind first-place Houston, East Carolina and Tulsa.
UCF is coming off of a 49-20 record last season, the best mark in program history. The Black and Gold finished second to the Cougars in the regular season, but downed UH, 4-2, in the league championship game to claim its first C-USA softball title and the earned the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.
The league coaches voted senior Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.) and sophomore Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) onto the 14-member preseason All-C-USA team, making UCF one of only four teams to have two players named to the squad.
Javier received preseason honors for the second-consecutive year after being named a first-team All-Conference USA member in 2008, while also being voted onto the C-USA Championship All-Tournament team. The senior led UCF in seven offensive categories in 2008 and tallied 27 multi-hit games.
Lane was named the 2008 C-USA Championship MVP after hitting .583 in the event with seven hits, a double, a home run, four runs scored and two RBI, while maintaining a 1.000 fielding percentage. The shortstop also received C-USA All-Freshman team honors last season after posting program records in triples and stolen bases, while leading the league in three different categories.
The Knights will open the 2009 season in Tempe, Ariz., where they will compete in the Kajikawa Classic Feb. 6-8. Hosted by 2008 NCAA champion Arizona State, the tournament will pit the Black and Gold against the Sun Devils, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Western Michigan and Stanford.
Season tickets are on sale now for the 2009 softball season, which features 34 home games at the UCF Softball Complex. For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
Predicted Order of Finish
1. Houston (7) 54-11, 21-2 C-USA
2. East Carolina (1) 37-30, 10-12 C-USA
3. Tulsa (1) 34-25, 14-10 C-USA
4. UCF 49-20, 16-7 C-USA
2008 records in italics, first place votes in parenthesis
Preseason Player of the Year
Jessica Valis Sr. Houston
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Jordan Kinard So. Tulsa
Preseason All-Conference USA Team
Pos Name Yr. School
C Elaina Nordstrom Sr. Houston
IF Jennifer Klinkert So. Houston
IF Jessica Valis Sr. Houston
IF Breanne Javier Sr. UCF
IF Tiffany Lane So. UCF
IF Amber Bennett Sr. UTEP
OF Katie Bush Sr. Houston
OF Laurie Wagner Sr. Houston
OF Megan Hill Jr. Southern Miss
OF Lauren Lindsay Jr. Tulsa
P Tony Paisley So. East Carolina
P Jordan Kindard So. Tulsa
UT Camilla Carerra So. UTEP
DP Stacie Townsend Jr. UTEP