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The accolade is the highest ranking for the Devils in recent history of the Pac-12 preseason poll. ASU had previously reached as high as the No. 2 slot, which occurred twice in 2008 and 2009. It is also only the second time that the Devils have ranked higher than the rival Arizona Wildcats.
ASU is followed closely by California, which nabbed 58 points and two first-place votes to place them at second overall. Arizona trails California by ten points with 48 overall and only one first-place tally at the No. 3 spot. After the Wildcats are UCLA (fourth, 40 points), Stanford (fifth, 38 points), Washington (sixth, 30 points), Oregon (seventh, 26 points), Oregon State (eighth, 14 points), and Utah (ninth, nine points).
Earlier this week, the Devils were honored with two other No. 1 slots in both the USA Today/NFCA and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 preseason polls. A-State has held the top position in the survey starting April 26, 2011, since which the squad has won its second Pac-12 championship and its second national championship in Sun Devil history.
The highly anticipated 2012 season will kick off with the Kajikawa Classic on February 9, where ASU will face Western Michigan in their first match of the year. The first Pac-12 match is on March 23, when the Devils take on the Wildcats in Tempe at Farrington Stadium. For the full 2012 lineup, click here.
2012 Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll
First-place votes in parentheses
1. Arizona State (6)
2. California (2)
3. Arizona (1)
8. Oregon State