Marla Townsend's UAB Blazers are ranked No. 21 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll, the first ever preseason ranking in UAB's program history.
Jan. 21, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association released the 2014 USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll on Tuesday with UAB ranked at No. 21.
The preseason poll appearance marks the first preseason ranking for the Blazers in program history, just a season after finishing ranked No. 16 in the final USA Today/NFCA Poll of 2013.
Of the teams ranked in the preseason top 25 poll, five appear on UAB’s 2014 schedule. Defending national champion Oklahoma, and host of UAB in a three-game set in late April, received 17 of 32 possible first-place votes and rank No. 2. Alabama, who UAB will face twice in 2014, checks in at No. 6 in the poll, while Baylor, host of the Getterman Classic on Feb. 14-16, UAB’s second tournament of 2014, is ranked 18th.
In-state foe South Alabama, and the first opponent for UAB this upcoming season at the South Alabama Mardi Gras Tournament, is ranked No. 20. The Georgia Bulldogs, who UAB will play twice in the Blazers’ third tournament of the year (6th Annual Bulldog Invitational), checks in at No. 23 in the poll.
The Blazers are the only Conference USA team to appear in the poll, while Tulsa received 23 votes. UAB is coming off its best season in program history after claiming its first Conference USA regular season title and finishing the year 40-19. The Blazers capped off 2013 by defeating No. 16 UCLA in 13 innings in the NCAA Louisville Regional, and advancing to their first ever NCAA Super Regional, where they fell to Florida in two games.