Sharee Fonoti and the Utah softball team begin the season on Friday, Feb. 10.
Feb. 1, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -- The preseason poll of Mountain West Conference softball coaches picked the University of Utah to finish fifth this season.
The Utes garnered eight points in the preseason poll, just ahead of New Mexico. The Lobos were picked sixth in the league with seven points.
Utah returns five starters and eight letterwinners from 2005. Among its returnees are all-conference picks Diana Phillips and Ivette Hernandez. The Utes also return their No. 1 pitcher from last season in Lindsie Nielsen.
Six newcomers join the team for 2006 as well. Three of them are pitchers in junior college transfers Karina Cannon, Meghan Dyer and Sheri Shrock. The roster also boasts three freshmen in Hailey Davenport, Andrea Hoffman and Jessica Shiery.
Last year, the Utes went 21-29 overall and finished fourth in the MWC with a 6-12 conference slate.
Brigham Young earned topped billing in the poll, garnering 23 points and three first-place votes. The Cougars barely edged out UNLV, picked second with 22 points and three first-place votes of its own. Rounding out the poll is San Diego State in third (16 points), Colorado State (14), Utah (8) and New Mexico (7).
The season begins for Utah on Friday, Feb. 10 at the Hilton Las Cruces Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M. The first day of action pits Utah against Colorado State and New Mexico State.