Special to The Sun
Central Oklahoma came in No. 16 in the NCAA Division II pre-season poll released by the National Fastpitchg Coaches Association (NFCA) Wednesday.
The Bronchos have back six players from last year's record-setting 46-9 team that won a regional title in advancing to the Division II World Series, coming within two outs of making the championship game and ending up No. 2 in the final rankings.
Defending champion Valdosta State topped the top-25 poll, followed by UC San Diego, Kutztown, Angelo State and Southern Connecticut. UCO defeated ASU in the regional finals and beat Southern Connecticut in the World Series before being eliminated by UC San Diego.
"It's always good to see our program get national recognition, but we know pre-season polls don't win any games," UCO coach Genny Stidham said. "We're looking forward to the season and think we have a chance to be pretty good."
The Bronchos open the season Feb. 8-10 at the Whitten Inn Classic in Abilene, Texas. The Bronchos don't make their home debut until hosting Southern Nazarene for a March 5 doubleheader.