(Photo Courtesy: Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas softball team received votes in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason poll as released Tuesday morning by the coaches' association. The Razorbacks received 28 votes and are positioned just three spots shy of the top 25.
Arkansas begins its 2014 season Feb. 7-9 at the Sportco Kick-Off Classic in Las Vegas. During the three-day opener, the Razorbacks are scheduled to face No. 18 Baylor, San Diego, UC Davis, host UNLV and No. 3 Washington. Overall, Arkansas will face 10 teams either ranked in the top 25 or receiving votes in the preseason poll. The Razorbacks are one of 10 teams from the Southeastern Conference mentioned in Tuesday's release.
The Razorbacks' 2014 schedule features eight opponents ranked inside the top 18 of the preseason poll, including seven of the top 12. As part of its home schedule at Bogle Park, Arkansas will host No. 1 Tennessee (March 14-16), No. 2 Oklahoma (March 5), No. 4 Florida (May 2-4) and No. 11 Texas A&M (March 28-30). Tulsa (April 9) and North Carolina State (Feb. 14), both receiving votes in the preseason poll, will also travel to Fayetteville for a pair of non-conference games.
Season tickets for Arkansas softball are now available for $45 online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com and at the Razorback Ticket Center on Razorback Road. The home opener is scheduled for Feb. 13-16 with the Arkansas Invitational.
The program enters its fifth season under head coach Mike Larabee who has guided Arkansas to back-to-back NCAA Regional finals. Last season, the Razorbacks tallied a 36-20 overall record with a 12-10 mark in SEC play. Arkansas returns 16 players from last year's roster and welcomes 10 newcomers. The program received its first-ever top 25 spot in 2013 after taking two of three against then-No. 17 Kentucky.