Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:
Putting together another strong season, Sonoma State is ranked fifth in the NCAA Division II Softball West Region poll.
Coming off last season’s record setting campaign, the Seawolves aim to defend their California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament title and make another appearance in the West Regional playoffs.
Sonoma State is 24-13 overall and 14-6 in the CCAA, good for second in the league. The top four teams in the conference at the end of regular season play move on to the CCAA Championship Tournament in Stockton on April 29-May 1.
Conference leading UC San Diego is ranked second in the regional poll and No. 9 nationally. Conference rival Chico State is ranked third in the region and No. 25 in the national poll. Western Washington leads the regional poll with Hawaii Pacific fourth. Both teams are nationally ranked.
The top eight teams in the final West Region poll meet in a pair of NCAA first round tournaments leading to the national finals.
Sonoma State must be on its game because in 12 of their final 16 games the Seawolves face the CCAA’s three other teams at the top of the standings — UCSD, Chico State and Cal State Dominguez Hills. Sonoma State returns home to host Chico State in a pair of doubleheaders Monday and Tuesday.
Last season, the Seawolves set a school record for wins, won their first league tournament title and reached the school’s highest national softball ranking ever. SSU hosted a west regional playoff tournament, but lost and did not advance.