3-18-2014 Florida Continues to Top NFCA Poll

Florida Continues Lengthy Reign Atop the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll

March 18, 2014

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Make it five consecutive weeks at No. 1 for Florida (28-2) in the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll as the Gators received 23 of 32 possible first-place votes to retain the top spot.

 

UF utilized a mid-week doubleheader sweep of Mercer (W 8-0 in 5 inn., W 1-0) and a Southeastern Conference series victory on the road at LSU (W 7-6 in 8 inn., L 2-3, W 10-2 in 5 inn.) to maintain its position in the March 18th listing and lead second-rated UCLA (26-1) by 22 total points. The Bruins secured the opening two games of its high-profile series against then-No. 6 Arizona (W 1-0, W 8-4), and later finished off the series sweep with a 2-0 win on Monday, to climb a single spot to a season-best rating at No. 2.

 

After five straight victories at the Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i, a 3-0 loss to unranked James Madison during the event’s title game proved enough to drop Oregon (23-3) from second to third in the latest rankings.

 

The remainder of the top five stayed the same with Tennessee (24-3) and Washington (20-5) holding down spots four and five, respectively. The Lady Vols blew past Western Carolina (W 15-0 in 5 inn.) and took two of three match-ups at Arkansas (W 9-2, L 4-5, W 8-0 in 6 inn.), while the Huskies split a pair of league contests against Utah (W 5-2, L 2-3) before having their series finale against the Utes cancelled by weather.

 

An unbeaten weekend at the Class Act Federal Credit Union Classic in Louisville, Ky., helped Michigan (19-6) jump from eighth to No. 6 this week. The pair of close defeats at UCLA didn’t cost Arizona (23-6) much in the way of poll position as the Wildcats moved down just a single slot to seventh.

 

No. 8 Kentucky (21-4), No. 9 Alabama (24-4) and No. 10 Florida State (25-4) each rose one spot in rounding out the latest top 10. The Wildcats topped Marshall (W 6-2) and rebounded from an opening defeat to secure their series at then-No. 16 Missouri (L 2-7, W 3-2, W 8-7 in 8 inn.). The Crimson Tide routed Mississippi Valley State (W 12-0 in 5 inn.) and rolled to a league-leading 6-0 in the SEC via a three-game sweep at Ole Miss (W 10-2, W 7-0, W 9-2). Meanwhile, the Seminoles split a pair of match-ups against Virginia Tech (W 12-0 in 5 inn., L 4-5), won at Florida Gulf Coast (W 5-0) and swept defending Atlantic Coast Conference tournament champion N.C. State (W 4-1, W 4-2, W 5-2) during a hard-fought series in Tallahassee, Fla.

 

There were no exits from this week’s poll as James Madison, LSU, USF, Hofstra, USC Upstate, Lipscomb, Arkansas, DePaul, Virginia Tech and Long Beach State remain among the list of “others receiving votes.”

 

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Current 2014 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.

 

 

USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Poll – Week 6 – March 18, 2014

 

Rank

Team

2014 Record

Totals

Last Poll Rank

1

Florida (23)

28-2

791

1

2

UCLA (9)

26-1

769

3

3

Oregon

23-3

735

2

4

Tennessee

24-3

709

4

5

Washington

20-5

625

5

6

Michigan

19-6

615

8

7

Arizona

23-6

588

6

8

Kentucky

21-4

577

9

9

Alabama

24-4

536

10

10

Florida State

25-4

512

11

11

Arizona State

27-5

498

7

12

Baylor

22-4

481

12

13

South Alabama

22-3

427

14

14

Georgia

25-2

381

15

15

Texas A&M

21-7

313

13

16

Minnesota

21-3

295

18

17

Nebraska

18-8

276

17

18

Missouri

16-7

269

16

19

Tulsa

24-3

249

20

20

Louisiana Lafayette

17-6-1

185

23

21

Auburn

24-4-1

140

24

22

Oklahoma

18-8

133

19

23

Northwestern

15-5

73

25

24

Stanford

23-8

61

21

25

Notre Dame

19-7

35

22

 

Dropped Out:  None

 

Others Receiving Votes:  James Madison (24), LSU (22), USF (20), Hofstra (18), USC Upstate (12), Lipscomb (11), Arkansas (9), DePaul (5), Virginia Tech (4), Long Beach State (2).

 

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