Arizona State prevents Oklahoma sweep in Top 25 Poll
OKLAHOMA CITY — During a week in which several ranked teams kicked
off conference play, the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll saw
a major shakeup the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA
Softball announced today. Top-ranked Oklahoma (22-1), furthered their
hold of the No. 1 spot, receiving 18 first-place votes while Arizona State (25-1)
staked their claim with two. This marks the first time this season that
the Sun Devils have garnered first-place votes.
Bouncing back from their first loss of the season, No. 1 Oklahoma
dominated the weekend, capturing four run-rule victories and outscoring
opponents 47-2. The Sooners topped Northern Colorado 14-0 (five innings)
and 10-0 (five innings) and Drake University 10-2 (six innings) and 13-0 (five
innings) to preserve the top ranking in the poll. Following a 4-0
performance at their Diamond Devil Invitational, Arizona State moved up one
spot in the poll to No. 2. The Sun Devils topped Pittsburgh 10-0 (five innings)
and 8-2 and UC Davis 12-3 (five innings) before closing the weekend with a 6-0
win over New Mexico State. The Florida Gators (25-2, 2-1 SEC) moved up
one spot to No. 3 this week, despite suffering a loss to unranked Auburn.
The Gators started the week with an 8-4 win over then-No. 2 Alabama before
opening Southeastern Conference (SEC) play with two wins (13-0 and 2-0) over
Auburn and dropping a 5-4 decision to the Tigers.
Also moving up in the ranks this week is No. 4 California (20-2),
while No. 5 Texas A&M (23-2, 1-1 SEC) continues to hold their place in the
poll. Alabama (23-3, 1-2 SEC) dropped to No. 6 following a week of action
in which the Crimson Tide suffered three consecutive losses. The Crimson
Tide were dealt their first loss of the season by Florida, and then suffered
back-to-back losses against then-No. 10 Tennessee (4-3 and 2-1). Alabama
bounced back with a 7-1 win to close the three-game series with a 1-2 SEC record.
With the wins, Tennessee (21-4, 2-1 SEC) jumped three spots to No. 7.
Rounding out the Top 10 are No. 8 Missouri (10-2, 1-1 SEC), No. 9 Oregon (21-4)
and No. 10 Texas (23-3).
No. 11 Louisville (20-3) continues their rise in the Top 25,
jumping two spots from last week’s poll. The Cardinals, host of the Red
& Black Tournament in Louisville, Ky., were a perfect 4-0 on the weekend,
collecting a 5-4 win over No. 14 Michigan (17-6), a 9-1 (six inning) win over
Miami (Ohio) and a five-inning, 12-0 run-rule over Austin Peay before capping
off the weekend with a 9-3 defeat of Illinois State. Also collecting
their highest ranking of the season are this week’s No. 15 Baylor (22-3) and
No.T21 Virginia Tech (15-2) and No. T21 Nebraska (16-5. The Bears swept
their three-game series against Purdue and Nebraska nabbed two wins over
Wichita State while the Hokies collected a 3-1 record at the Long Beach State
Invitational in Lakewood, Calif., including a 2-1 win over then-No. 9 UCLA
(22-4). Louisiana-Lafayette (16-9, 1-2 Sun Belt) suffered the biggest
drop this week, slipping eight spots to No. 25 following a 1-4 week of
Top 25 teams remained the same this week, with the SEC and Pac-12 represented
by seven teams apiece, with the SEC leading with five Top 10 teams. The
Big 12 has three teams in the Top 25, while the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
and Big 10 have two teams each. Not to be forgotten are the Big East, Big
West, Conference USA and Sun Belt Conference, who are represented by one team
each in the Top 25.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by
coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA
Softball Regions as well as members of National and Local media who
consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing
Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic
Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations
and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local
associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to
over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million.
For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the
USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs
together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting
these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic
competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s
sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold
medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World
Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed
five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball,
please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
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