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Softball: NFCA, ESPN/USA Softball Place Louisiana in Top 10 of Preseason Rankings
2021 season set to begin Feb. 12-13 at Lamson Park
LAFAYETTE – Two more preseason polls were revealed on Tuesday (Jan. 26, 2021) with the announcement of the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls, and it provided additional Top 10 notoriety for Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball.
The Ragin' Cajuns (18-6, 2-1 Sun Belt in 2020) were placed at No. 9 by the panel of voters from both the NFCA and ESPN/USA Softball rankings ahead of the much-anticipated return of collegiate softball in February.
VIEW THE POLLS
USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll
ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Poll
It's the third preseason Top 10 billing for Louisiana in 2021. It comes one week after D1Softball announced the squad at No. 7 in its preseason listing.
Louisiana, ranked in 106 consecutive national polls dating back to April 2013, received preseason Top 10 status for the second consecutive season from both the NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball voters.
The Ragin' Cajuns are headed into a season with at least one preseason ranking for the 18th straight year. Louisiana has been preseason ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll every year since 2004 and in every preseason version of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, which debuted in 2006.
Ranked foes Louisiana is scheduled to face during the 2021 season include (NFCA/ESPN/USA Softball): Baylor (22/18), Louisiana State (5/5), Oklahoma State (11/10), Texas (6/7) and Alabama (8/8).
The Ragin' Cajuns are coming off a Top 10 finish in the national polls during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. Louisiana scored ranked wins over Louisiana State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Florida (twice) in addition to two victories over Ole Miss, leading the squad to a No. 1 ranking in the lone RPI ranking of the year.
Armed with five seniors utilizing an extra year of eligibility granted by last season's COVID-19 stoppage of play, along with several key Division I transfers, head coach Gerry Glasco and his staff aim to continue building momentum during the fourth season of his tenure.
All-Sun Belt performers Summer Ellyson, Alissa Dalton, Julie Rawls and Raina O'Neal, along with Kaitlyn Alderink, headline the returning players. Jade Gortarez (Arizona State), Ciara Bryan (Georgia), Justice Milz (Georgia), Jenna Kean (Arizona), Karly Heath (South Carolina) and Vanessa Foreman (Arizona) comprise the group of D1 transfers expected to make an impact.
The fast-approaching 2021 season is scheduled to begin Feb. 12-13 at Lamson Park with contests against No. 22/18 Baylor and Missouri State in the 35th Annual Louisiana Classics. It'll be the first collegiate competition the team will have seen in 340 days since the 2020 season abruptly came to an end.
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