ALABAMA #1 USA SOFTBALL POLL
Alabama garners top spot in ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll
OKLAHOMA CITY — A trio of schools from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) have taken over the top positions in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. An undefeated squad from Alabama (16-0) is No. 1 following three weeks of action with Georgia (14-1) and Florida (14-0) taking second and third, respectively.
Week three marks the highest ranking of the year for all three of the top ranked squads but each has received at least one No. 1 vote in weeks prior. Alabama led the way in week three with 11 first-place votes. Georgia received five and Florida claimed the remaining four.
In 2011, no team has held the poll’s top spot consecutively for more than one week with Arizona taking the No. 1 spot in the pre-season and week two polls and UCLA, the defending NCAA Women’s College World Series Champions, taking the top spot in week one. Arizona (14-2), dropped to No. 4 this week following an 8-0 loss to Georgia in five innings at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. UCLA (12-3), which tied at No. 3 with Georgia for week two, dropped to No. 9 with a 4-1 loss to Florida and a 7-1 loss to now No. 8 Tennessee.
Alabama claimed its third tournament title of the season Sunday as it earned the University of South Florida Fairfield Inn and Suites Tournament Championship Title with a 12-1 win over host USF. The team also defeated Illinois State 7-0, Central Connecticut 17-1 (five), Western Michigan 12-4 (six) and then No. 15 Missouri (5-3) 3-1 in the tournament.
Georgia moved up to No. 2 by topping then-No. 6 Oklahoma (12-5) 1-0, then-No. 21 Texas A&M (12-5) 6-2, Oregon State 12-7 and Arizona 8-0 (five). Although the Bulldogs were impressive in Palm Springs, the Red and Black also experienced their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss at the hands of Oklahoma State (12-3), a team that moved from No. 18 to No. 15.
Florida remains undefeated following a 5-0 appearance in Palm Springs. The Gators defeated Indiana 7-0, No. 12 Texas (14-2) 6-5, San Diego State 4-2, UCLA 4-1 and Utah 7-3. In the pre-season, week one and week two polls, Florida was ranked No. 5.
Other teams in the Top 10 are No. 5 Michigan (15-0), No. 6 Washington (13-0), No. 7 Arizona State (12-1) and No. 8 Tennessee (14-2). No. 10 California (9-1) makes a first appearance in the Top 10 following wins against Indiana, Massachusetts, then-No. 21 LSU (12-5) and Cal Poly in Palm Springs.
Oklahoma dropped from No. 6 to No. 11 after a rough weekend at the Cathedral City Classic. Starting with a 1-0 loss to Georgia, the Sooners went on a 4-0 skid with other losses against then-No. 11 Hawaii (12-4), now ranked No. 16, Long Beach State and UCLA. The team’s only win of the tournament was a 4-2 victory over Cal Poly.
No. 25 Auburn (15-0) moved into the poll for the first time this season after Georgia Tech (7-4), No. 25 last week, dropped out of the poll with a 1-0 showing against Kennesaw State, their only action in week three.
ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
March 1 – February 21-February 27
Parenthesis Denotes first place votes.
Dropped Out: Georgia Tech
New to Poll: Auburn
Others receiving votes: Baylor (32), Fresno State (25), Notre Dame (19), Syracuse (17), San Diego State (5), DePaul (3), SC-Upstate (3), Georgia Tech (2) and Florida State (1).