Wildcats ranked No. 7 in preseason poll (Softball)

Matt Baker

After two straight trips to the Women’s College World Series, Northwestern enters the 2008 preseason as the nation’s No. 7 team, according to the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason poll released Wednesday.

The Wildcats received 503 points – 17 more than No. 8 Baylor and eight less than No. 6 Tennessee, who knocked the Cats out of the semifinals in last year’s Women’s College World Series.

In 2006, the Cats reached the final round of the World Series before finishing second to Arizona.

The Cats have been ranked in the top 10 for the last 18 weeks and in the top 25 for the last 42 weeks.

NU opens the 2008 season Feb. 15-17 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., and will face No. 1 Arizona and No. 2 Texas A&M. The Cats face Wisconsin in their home opener on March 28.