3-20-2012 Bama Tops ESPN USA Softball Poll for First time

ESPN USA Softball poll March 20, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 20, 2012

Alabama rolls through the competition, claims No. 1 spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Southeastern Conference (SEC) now has bragging rights over the Pac-12 as the Alabama softball team (25-0, 6-0 SEC) is the best softball team in the nation, according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll released today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America. The Crimson Tide ousted the California Golden Bears, who have claimed the No. 1 spot the past five weeks, following a perfect week of both conference and non-conference play. The Crimson Tide, received 15 first-place votes while Cal (25-1) received five of 20 votes. The Washington Huskies (27-1) stay at No. 3 while Florida (26-2, 7-1 SEC) remains at No. 4.

The top-ranked Alabama softball team completed an undefeated campaign this past week in which the Crimson Tide defeated then-No. 14 Oregon (18-4) 5-1 and swept Mississippi 12-2 (5), 10-7 and 12-1 (5). This week, Alabama continues SEC play as they host No. 11 Tennessee (19-6, 3-3 SEC) at home. After suffering their first loss of the season at the Chevron Spring Fling to host Hawaii (24-2), Cal dropped to No. 2. The now-No. 17 Rainbow Wahine’s Jessica Iwata, who is on the Top 50 Watch List for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, hit a two-run walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, marring Cal’s perfect record with a 3-1 loss. The Golden Bears went 4-1 on the weekend, defeating then-No. 21 Texas A&M (20-8) 3-0, then-No. 6 Texas (23-2, 2-0 Big 12) 6-3, Marist 1-0 and Winthrop 7-1.

In their last pre-conference play weekend, No. 3 Washington captured four wins at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. The Huskies bested UC Davis 14-1 (5), Iowa 4-3, Notre Dame 7-2 and then-No. 25 DePaul 9-1 (5). Washington will face Cal State Bakersfield before beginning Pac-12 play on Friday when they host Utah. The No. 4 Florida Gators collected three SEC wins after sweeping South Carolina 9-1 (5), 1-0 and 7-3. The 19-inning series against the Gamecocks marks the 11th game this season in which the Gators collected at least 10 hits.

Despite losing to the then-No. 1 team, Texas moved up one spot to No. 5 following a 4-1 performance in Hawaii. The Longhorns switched places with No. 6 Arizona State (28-3) after then-No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette dealt a 9-2 loss to the Sun Devils. The Oklahoma Sooners (24-3) hold down the No. 7 slot, while No. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette (26-0, 3-0 Sun Belt) cracked the Top 10 for the first time this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns went 3-0 at the Judi Garman classic, upsetting Arizona State 9-2, beating Penn State 5-1 and topping Fresno State 9-1 before inclement weather forced a cancellation of the remaining matches. Rounding out the Top 10 are No. 9 Stanford (25-3) and No. 10 Missouri (20-3, 3-0 Big 12).

No. 11 Tennessee (19-6, 3-3 SEC) fell out of the Top 10 for the first time this season after a 2-1 series performance against Arkansas. The Lady Vols nabbed a 7-0 and 9-0 sweep of Georgia Southern in addition to the two conference wins (8-0 and 2-0) and one loss (4-1) against the Razorbacks. Undefeated Louisville (22-0) continued to climb the Top 25 Poll, moving one spot to No. 14 following a flawless week of action. The Cards, Louisiana-Lafayette and Alabama are the only squads in the Top 25 with an undefeated record.

No. 24 Syracuse (17-8) and No. 25 North Carolina (21-8, 2-1 ACC) rejoin the Top 25, while New Mexico (17-6) and DePaul (15-7) dropped out of the poll.

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

March 20, 2012 — Week 6 (March 12 – 18, 2012)

Rank

Team

Record

Points

Previous Ranking

1.

Alabama (15)

25-0

494

2

2.

California (5)

25-1

480

1

3.

Washington

27-1

462

3

4.

Florida

26-2

432

4

5.

Texas

23-2

398

6

6.

Arizona State

28-3

395

5

7.

Oklahoma

24-3

385

7

8.

Louisiana-Lafayette

26-0

372

11

9.

Stanford

25-3

330

T9

10.

Missouri

20-3

310

12

11.

Tennessee

19-6

298

T9

12.

Georgia

23-5

275

8

13.

Arizona

18-4

252

13

14.

Louisville

22-0

248

15

15.

Oregon

18-4

228

14

16.

UCLA

20-6

186

T16

17.

Hawaii

24-2

175

T19

18.

Baylor

21-6

167

T16

19.

Texas A&M

20-8

129

21

20.

Michigan

17-9

115

T19

21.

Auburn

23-6

110

18

22.

South Florida

24-5

97

23

23.

Florida State

23-5

57

22

24.

Syracuse

17-8

22

RV

25.

North Carolina

21-8

21

RV

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

Dropped Out: New Mexico (24); DePaul (25)
New to Poll: Syracuse (RV); North Carolina (RV)

Others receiving votes: DePaul (20); Oregon State (19); LSU (11); Tulsa (3); Georgia Tech (2); Lipscomb (2); Nebraska (2); New Mexico (2); Oklahoma State (1)

 

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