With less than a month remaining until the start of South Florida baseball and softball’s campaigns, the American Athletic Conference has released the preseason coaches polls for the upcoming season.
Both teams are seeking redemption in their postseasons after last year, when baseball faced trials of injuries while softball lost to Mississippi State in the Tallahassee Regional.
Here is how both teams pan out in their conferences polls:
Sitting at sixth place in the preseason rankings is USF baseball, with just one vote for first place in the AAC.
Last season, East Carolina was selected as the fan favorite. They went on to claim the AAC regular season champions title, AAC conference tournament champions, NCAA Regional champions and a Super Regional appearance.
This year, the Pirates boast No. 20 in the NCAA’s preseason rankings as well. For the Bulls, ECU will be a tough team to beat.
Exceeding South Florida in the rankings is Houston, Central Florida, Tulane and Wichita State, all who placed above USF in conference standings last year.
Even though USF sits at No. 6 in the preseason polls for the second year in a row, returning and fresh talent may help to turn the team around. With new additions and 19 players returning, the Bulls might have a fighting chance to rise to the challenge like they did in 2021 after winning the AAC conference tournament and advancing to Super Regionals.
The AAC coaches poll placed the USF softball team in third for the upcoming season.
In first place with four votes is Central Florida, which has also been ranked at No.15 by the NCAA preseason poll. UCF excelled in 2022 with the AAC regular season and conference championship accolade followed by an NCAA Regional champion title and a Super Regional appearance.
Following in the Knights’ shadow at No. 2 is Wichita State, with three votes for first in the conference. The Shockers didn’t fare well against the Bulls last season with USF overcoming WSU 2-1 in its weekend series and in the AAC conference tournament semifinals.
USF softball will be a threat to the top two programs in this year’s preseason poll as long as its pitching staff creates depth after alumni pitcher Georgina Corrick completed her collegiate career last season.