LSU softball ranked No. 15 in preseason poll

LSU’s softball team will enter the 2022 season ranked No. 15 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.

The Tigers have remained a nationally ranked team since the end of the 2014 season. LSU finished the 2021 campaign with a 35-22 record in what was the toughest strength of schedule among those who played a full season.

The Tigers return 19 letter winners from last season’s roster, highlighted by 2021 NFCA All-American and SEC Newcomer of the Year Taylor Pleasants. She concluded the year with a .316 batting average, 56 hits, 49 RBI, 37 runs and 13 home runs. In addition to Pleasants, 2019 NFCA All-American and 2021 All-SEC Defensive Team selection Shelbi Sunseri returns as a fifth-year senior along with last season’s starting pitcher Ali Kilponen.

LSU earned 277 points and is one of eight ranked teams in the SEC, including five in the top 15. The Tigers have 10 opponents on their 2022 schedule who are ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Preseason Poll, including six in the top 10.

LSU will open the 2022 season with the Tiger Classic, playing host to South Alabama, Illinois and Central Arkansas on Feb. 11-13.

 Rank, School (First-Place Votes), Points, 2021 Record, Final 2021 Ranking

  1. Oklahoma (25), 625 pts, 56-4, No. 1
  2. Alabama, 591 pts, 52-9, No. 3
  3. UCLA, 549 pts, 47-7, No. 5
  4. Oklahoma State, 547 pts, 48-12, No. 6
  5. Florida, 501 pts, 45-11, No. 9
  6. Florida State, 490 pts, 49-13-1, No. 2
  7. Washington, 446 pts, 45-14, No. 10
  8. Texas, 418 pts, 43-14, No. 12
  9. Arkansas, 399 pts, 43-11, No. 11
  10. Virginia Tech, 329 pts, 37-15, No. 13
  11. Arizona, 319 pts, 41-15, No. 7
  12. Missouri, 313 pts, 42-17, No. 14
  13. Michigan, 312 pts, 38-8, No. 20
  14. Clemson, 296 pts, 44-8, No. 17
  15. LSU, 277 pts, 35-22, T-No. 15
  16. Tennessee, 247 pts, 42-15, T-No. 23
  17. Oregon, 245 pts, 40-17, No. 19
  18. Duke, 243 pts, 44-12, No. 18
  19. Georgia, 227 pts, 34-23, No. 8
  20. Kentucky, 198 pts, 43-16, T-No. 15
  21. Arizona State, 150 pts, 33-16, No. 22
  22. James Madison, 107 pts, 41-4, No. 4
  23. UL-Louisiana, 98 pts, 47-12, No. 21
  24. Northwestern, 54 pts, 30-17, RV
  25. Wichita State, 25 pts, 41-13-1, T-No. 23

Others receiving votes: Liberty (20), Fresno State (19), Stanford (19), Minnesota (14), UCF (14), Auburn (9), Notre Dame (9), Baylor (7), Ole Miss (5), Texas A&M (4), South Florida (2), Oregon State (2), BYU (2), Miami – Ohio (1).

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