Familiar perch: LSU softball ranked No. 15 in ESPN/USA Softball’s preseason poll

PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes.

LSU is one of nine softball teams from the Southeastern Conference represented in the 2024 ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason top 25 poll.

The Tigers of 13th year coach Beth Torina returns seven position starters, 14 letter winners and welcome a highly recruited freshman class for the start of 2024 season on Feb. 8 against Nicholls at Tiger Park. All-America sophomore pitcher Sydney Berzon highlights the team’s pitching staff.

LSU, which is ranked in the poll for the 18th consecutive year, received 267 points and finished just behind conference foe No. 14 Alabama. The Tigers went 42-17 last season and reached the championship game of the NCAA Regional against UL-Lafayette.

Two-time NFCA Gold Glove winner Ciara Briggs, a graduate center fielder, is part of the experienced nucleus that returns along with five other NFCA All-South Region selections and six All-SEC first or second-team selections.

Other returning All-South Region choices are graduate shortstop Taylor Pleasants, senior third baseman Danieca Coffey, senior left fielder/catcher Ai Newland and Berzon.

Newland was a first-team All-SEC selection, while Berzon, Coffey, Pleasants, Briggs and junior right fielder McKenzie Redoutey were second-team choices.

LSU is scheduled to play 21 games against teams 10 teams in the preseason polls, including five against top three teams in No. 2 Tennessee, No. 5 Texas and No. 10 Washington.

Rank, School (First-Place Votes), Points, 2023 Record, Final 2023 Ranking

1. Oklahoma (25), 625 pts, 61-1, No. 1

2. Tennessee, 557 pts, 51-10, No. 4

3. Stanford, 546 pts, 47-15, No. 3

4. Florida State, 530 pts, 58-11, No. 2

5. Texas, 496 pts, 44-15-1, No. 11

6. Georgia, 470 pts, 42-15, No. 12

7. Clemson, 468 pts, 49-12, No. 9

8. UCLA, 405 pts, 52-7, No. 15

9. Duke, 401 pts, 48-12, No. 10

10. Washington, 393 pts, 44-15, No. 5

11. Oklahoma State, 346 pts, 47-16, No. 6

12. Arkansas, 306 pts, 40-19, No. 17

13. Oregon, 299 pts, 38-17, No. 14

14. Alabama, 280 pts, 45-22, No. 7

15. LSU, 267 pts, 42-17, No. 20

16. Utah, 265 pts, 42-16, No. 8

17. Nebraska, 252 pts, 36-22, RV

18. Florida, 191 pts, 38-22, No. 21

19. Baylor, 170 pts, 40-18, No. 22

20. Auburn, 160 pts, 43-19, No. 19

21. UL-Lafayette, 133 pts, 50-16, No. 16

22. South Carolina, 129 pts, 40-22, No. 23

23. Virginia Tech, 106 pts, 39-20, No. 24

24. Texas A&M, 91 pts, 35-21, RV

25. Northwestern, 84 pts, 42-13, No. 13

Others receiving votes: San Diego State (48), Kentucky (32), UCF (23), Arizona (10), Missouri (9), Wichita State (9), McNeese (8), Notre Dame (7), Arizona State (6), Liberty (6), Indiana (4), Miami-OH (4), Minnesota (3), Mississippi State (3), Ole Miss (2), Central Arkansas (1), Michigan (1), North Texas (1).

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