2-21-2012 Cal Remains Atop USA Softball Poll

Week 3 USA Softball Poll

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 21, 2012

Golden Bears remain No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

OKLAHOMA CITY – For the second consecutive week, the California Golden Bears (8-0) earned the coveted No. 1 spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, announced today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America.  The Bears secured the top spot following an impressive road campaign at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in LasVegas, that saw Cal outscore opponents 23-3 while giving up only three runs in 24 innings of play.

The Bears garnered 16 No. 1 votes this week with Alabama (7-0) receiving one first place vote, helping secure their third consecutive No. 2 ranking, and No. 3 Florida (9-0) receiving three first place votes.  In Las Vegas, Cal started the weekend with a 2-0 win over DePaul in which USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for Week 1 Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) cranked out two home runs while also pitching seven innings.  Other weekend action for the Golden Bears include a 7-0 win against San Jose State, a 10-0 five-inning victory against UC Riverside, and a 14-3 five inning win against LSU.

Alabama produced five home runs over three wins at the SEC/ACC/BIG XII Challenge in Auburn, Ala.  Sophomore Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.), who is on the Top 50 Watch List for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, pitched her team to two wins over ranked opponents as the Tide defeated then-No. 20 Georgia Tech 12-9 and then-No. 18 Oklahoma State 3-1. 

Florida clinched three wins at home this weekend as the Gators swept a three-game series with Michigan State, earning the Gators eighth run-rule and third straight five-inning win the 2012 season. The Gators also defeated Jacksonville 10-2 in six innings on Wednesday.

Arizona State moved up in the poll from No. 6 to No. 4 after rebounding from a rocky first week of action in which the Sun Devils dropped two games.  The hosts of the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz., the Sun Devils (10-2) outscored their opponents 47-5 and closed out the weekend with five wins.  The UCLA Bruins continued their rise in the Top 25, jumping three spots from No. 8 to now hold the No. 5 position. The Bruins (10-0) finished the week with five wins, including a 24-2, five inning run-rule victory against unranked Loyola Marymount in which every Bruin starter had at least two hits.

Despite a 10-0, five inning win against Virginia Tech, the Oklahoma Sooners (6-1) dropped to No. 6 in the poll after suffering a 1-0 loss to Georgia Tech (7-3), a team which moved to No. 17 this week. Washington (10-0) jumped two spots to No. 7 after a stellar performance at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, Calif.  The Huskies clinched five wins this weekend, including a 9-0 five inning outing against UC Santa Barbara. 

 

With a 3-2, nine inning win against then-No. 7 Tennessee, the Texas Longhorns (8-0) cracked the Top 10 for the first time this season, moving from No. 13 to No. 8.  The loss now puts the No. 9 Lady Vols at a 6-2 on the season. Rounding out the Top 10 is Baylor, who for the second consecutive week, stays at No. 10 after collecting two wins against unranked Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Missouri (3-1), ranked No. 5 in both the pre-season and Week 1 polls, dropped out of the Top 10  to No. 11 after suffering a 10 inning, 6-5 loss to unranked Eastern Kentucky.  Despite the loss, the Tigers came out of their opening weekend with a winning record, including victories against  Ball State 3-2, Troy 4-0 and Eastern Tennessee State 9-3.

Dropping out of the Top 25 are last week’s No. 18 Oklahoma State, who suffered losses to Virginia Tech, now-No. 19 Auburn, and No. 2 Alabama, and former No. 24 Kentucky (4-5), who lost to then-No. 11 Michigan and unranked Maryland.  Entering the poll this week are Auburn (8-0) at No. 19 and Florida State (9-0) at No. 25.

This week, many teams take to the road to participate in the Cathedral City Classic, hosted by Oregon State, in Cathedral City, Calif.  Over 10 teams participating are among the Top 25, and the schedule is full of strong match-ups between ranked teams.  Washington will face five ranked squads, while both Florida and UCLA will take on their first ranked opponents of the season (three apiece) over the course of the tournament.

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

Feb. 21, 2012 — Week 2 (Feb. 13-19, 2012)

 

Rank

Team

Record

Points

Previous Ranking

1.

California (16)

8-0

494

1

2.

Alabama (1)

7-0

477

2

3.

Florida (3)

9-0

464

3

4.

Arizona State

10-2

415

6

5.

UCLA

10-0

406

8

6.

Oklahoma

6-1

395

4

7.

Washington

9-0

375

9

8.

Texas

8-0

355

13

9.

Tennessee

6-2

343

7

10.

Baylor

6-1

310

10

11.

Missouri

3-1

308

5

12.

Michigan

8-1

273

11

13.

Georgia

8-1

247

14

14.

Texas A&M

8-2

227

15

15.

Stanford

8-3

210

12

16.

Arizona

8-3

202

16

17.

Georgia Tech

7-3

156

20

18.

Louisiana-Lafayette

7-0

153

21

19.

Auburn

8-0

115

RV

20.

Louisville

9-0

104

23

21.

Oregon

3-2

99

19

22.

Nebraska

8-3

73

22

23.

Houston

7-2

71

17

24.

North  Carolina

7-0

61

25

25.

Florida State

9-0

41

RV

 

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

Dropped Out: Oklahoma State; Kentucky
New to Poll: Auburn; Florida State

 

Others receiving votes: Hawaii (28); Oklahoma State (26); South Florida  (20); BYU (11); San Diego  State (11); Maryland (10); Syracuse (6); McNeese State (5); Mississippi State (3); Kentucky (2); UMass (2); Arkansas (1); Virginia Tech (1)

 

 

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