COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. After winning the 2007 regular-season Mountain West Conference softball championship, the BYU Cougars have been selected to repeat the title honor this season win in the conference coaches' preseason poll released this week.
BYU received five first-place votes, while San Diego State also received one.
"It's an honor to be held in such a high regard by our conference opponents," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "I believe our conference has a lot more parody this year, and any of the teams could step up and climb the ranks."
BYU, which also won the regular-season crown in 2001 and 2005, collected 25 points to capture the top spot in the poll. San Diego State tallied 19 points to place second, followed by last year's regular-season runner-up UNLV (15 points).
Colorado State and New Mexico tied for fourth place, with 13 points apiece, while Utah (five points) was picked sixth.
The Cougars who last season finished with a 43-20 overall record, a 16-4 Mountain West mark and an NCAA Tournament appearance return nine letterwinners, including catcher Emi Snow, pitcher Christie Zinanti and infielder Angeline Quiocho.
The Cougars open the 2008 season Feb. 7, when they host the Red Desert Classic in St. George.