Special to GC
OKLAHOMA CITY - Following its national championship campaign in 2014, the Gator Softball team will begin the 2015 season ranked No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25. Florida earned 15 of 20 first-place votes in the preseason rankings, which were announced Tuesday by the Amateur Softball Association of America. Beginning his 10th season in Gainesville, Head Coach Tim Walton<http://www.gatorzone.com/softball/staff/walton/> has the preseason No. 1 team in the USA Softball rankings for the second time; the Gators also started at No. 1 in 2009. Florida returns 14 letterwinners from last season and brings in a class of six freshmen. The Gators are scheduled to face 11 teams ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 preseason poll this year. In addition, five Gator opponents are receiving votes. UF will start the 2015 season next weekend in Tampa, Fla., with five games at the USF Softball Classic. This includes a Saturday contest against preseason No. 8 Michigan and Sunday matchups with in-state rivals Jacksonville and USF. Florida's full 2015 schedule<http://www.gatorzone.com/schedule.php?sport=softb> is available on GatorZone.com. The Gators also are ranked No.1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll<http://www.gatorzone.com/story.php?id=29552>, which was released last week.