2-28-2012 California Remains Atop USA Softball Poll

WEEK 3 ESPN/USA SOFTBALL POLL
February 28 2012

 

California, Alabama hold steady at top of ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

OKLAHOMA CITY – Through three weeks of NCAA Division I Collegiate softball action, the No. 1 team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll remains undefeated California, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. While there was movement amongst the Top 25 teams, including the first Top 10 appearance of the regular season for No. 7 Georgia (12-2) and No. 10 Stanford (13-3), California (12-0) and Alabama (13-0) are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 for the third consecutive week.

The Golden Bears received 16 of the 20 first place votes following a 4-0 performance at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Cal beat Fordham 5-0, New Mexico State 2-0, Cal Poly 4-1 and Cal State Northridge 7-0. Before opening Pacific-12 Conference play on March 23 with Stanford, the Bears will play at the DeMarini Invitational in Fullerton, Calif., the Bayer Cropscience Classic in Fresno, Calif., the Hawaii Spring Fling in Honolulu and host home games against UC Davis and Princeton.

Behind an undefeated campaign at the Easton Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Alabama snagged four No. 1 votes. The team topped East Carolina 4-2 and 9-4, defeated North Dakota State 9-4 and 3-2 and finished the weekend over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. The Crimson Tide also defeated UAB 8-1 in a standalone game before the tournament. Alabama returns to action March 2 against Maryland as the host of the Easton Alabama Invite, which also features UMass and UAB.

Florida dropped from third to fourth despite wins over then-No. 14 Texas A&M 6-4, BYU 3-0, then-No. 8 Texas 5-1 and Boise State 3-0 at the Cathedral City Classic. In Palm Springs, the Gators suffered 5-2 loss to then-No. 7 Washington, a team that had a strong performance in the tournament, beating four ranked teams. The Huskies (14-1) lost to then-No. 11 Missouri 2-0 but topped Florida 5-2, Texas A&M 8-2, then-No. 13 Georgia 7-5 and then-No. 22 Nebraska 6-3, moving up to No. 3 in Top 25 with the 4-1 showing. 

Despite an undefeated weekend, Arizona State, ranked No. 1 in the pre-season ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, dropped from No. 4 to No. 5 but is only one point behind the Gators. The Sun Devils outscored Central Connecticut 43-3 in four run-rule victories. Last week’s No. 5 UCLA dropped to No. 16 after four consecutive losses in Palm Springs. The Bruins were run-ruled by Georgia 13-4 and lost to Fresno State 6-3, Texas 5-4 and Missouri 7-5 in a six inning game that was called due to the Tigers’ travel plans before topping Syracuse 6-3.

Another team to benefit from a powerful performance at the Cathedral City Classic is Texas (12-1), which jumped from No. 8 last week to No. 6. The Longhorns scored wins over UCLA and Nebraska, a team no longer ranked after four losses in Palm Springs, as well as Cal State Northridge and San Diego State but lost to Florida. Texas plays Texas State, Sam Houston State and Texas Tech in Week 4.

Just behind Texas is Georgia, a team that made the largest upward move of the week, going from No. 13 to the seventh spot. The Bulldogs went 4-1 over Week 3, beating three ranked opponents – then-No. 16 Arizona 3-0, UCLA and then-No. 6 Oklahoma 3-2 – and Cal State Fullerton 12-5 in Palm Springs. Louisiana-Lafayette (12-0) experienced the same jump as Georgia, improving from No. 18 to No. 12, with a 5-0 run at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla., that included a 10-7 win over then-No. 12 Michigan. 

Tennessee (10-3) moved up a spot from last week to No. 8 with a 4-1 showing in Clearwater. With losses to then-No. 15 Stanford and Georgia, Oklahoma (9-3) fell from No. 6 to No. 9, the Sooners’ lowest ranking of the year. Stanford, ranked No. 10 in the pre-season poll, earned a coveted Top 10 spot for the first time in the regular season with a 5-0 showing in Palm Springs. Baylor (12-2) dropped from No. 10 to No. 11.

For the first time this season, Hawaii (12-0) and South Florida (10-2) are ranked, coming into the poll at No. 22 and No. 23, respectively. Nebraska (9-7) and Houston (9-5) dropped out.

 

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into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Public voting ends April 9, 2012.

 

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

Feb. 28, 2012 — Week 3 (Feb.20-26, 2012)

 

Rank

Team

Record

Points

Previous Ranking

1.

California (16)

12-0

496

1

2.

Alabama (4)

13-0

481

2

3.

Washington

14-1

434

7

4.

Florida

13-1

423

3

5.

Arizona State

14-2

422

4

6.

Texas

12-1

399

9

7.

Georgia

12-2

368

13

8.

Tennessee

10-3

347

9

9.

Oklahoma

9-3

317

6

10.

Stanford

13-3

307

15

11.

Baylor

12-2

283

10

12.

Louisiana-Lafayette

12-0

256

18

13.

Missouri

6-3

255

11

14.

Arizona

13-4

249

16

15.

Michigan

11-3

224

12

16.

UCLA

11-4

210

5

17.

Auburn

13-0

208

19

18.

Oregon

8-2

176

21

19.

Louisville

12-0

162

20

20.

Florida State

15-0

102

25

21.

Texas A&M

9-6

89

14

22.

Hawaii

12-0

57

RV

23.

South Florida

10-2

52

RV

24.

North Carolina

11-2

49

24

25.

Georgia Tech

8-7

35

17

 

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

Dropped Out: Nebraska (22); Houston (23)
New to Poll: Hawaii (RV); South Florida (RV)

Others receiving votes: Nebraska (28); DePaul (19); Maryland (19); LSU (9); UMASS (5); New Mexico (5); Arkansas (4); Syracuse (3); Pacific (3); BYU (1); North Carolina State (1); Ohio State (1); SC Upstate (1)

 

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