UH opens ranked among nation’s best

The Cougars will open the 2012 spring season ranked in the top 25 in both major-national polls.

UH was voted No. 20 by USA Today and No. 22 by ESPN.

The Cougars last opened a season ranked in 2009 when they began the season as No. 13/18.

The ranking comes after advancing to the NCAA Super Regional and winning a share of the Conference USA regular season title finishing 44-18 last season.

The Cougars have lost their two pitchers with the most impact, Amanda Crabtree (21-9, 0.96 ERA, 196 ⅔ IP, 334 SO) and Donna Borgeois (17-6, 1.67 ERA), but return with sophomore pitcher Diedre Outon (6-3, 1.73 ERA) and six regular position players, including Conference USA Player of the Year Melissa Gregson (.334, 16 HR, 47 RBI).

Last season, the Cougars went 17-8 against ranked teams.

This season’s schedule features games against five ranked teams: No. 15 Texas A&M, No. 16 Oklahoma State, No. 19 Texas, No. 20 Nebraska and No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette.

The Cougars open their spring schedule against North Texas at 3 p.m. on Feb. 12 at Cougar Softball Stadium.

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