NFCA DI POLL March 24, 2015
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following a 3-0 week, which included a pair of wins over No. 6 Oklahoma, LSU strengthened its hold on No. 1 in this week’s USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the Association.
After ascending to No. 1 for the first time in program history last week, the Tigers (30-1) received 30 of 32 possible first-place votes and 798 points to grab a firm hold of the top spot. LSU topped Nicholls, 6-1, in a mid-week affair and capped off its 3-0 week by edging the Sooners, 1-0, in the opener and a posting resounding 10-2 victory in the finale.
As with the top spot, the next five rankings remained the same. Oregon received a first-place vote and 758 points to continue its eight-week run, including preseason, in the No. 2 position. The Ducks (25-3) defeated Utah by the scores of 4-2 and 15-9 in the first two games of a three-game Pac-12 series that concluded Monday in Salt Lake City.
Weather played havoc on the SEC series between No. 3 Florida (29-2) and No. 5 Alabama (21-6). The Gators won a pitching duel between Lauren Haeger and Alexis Osorio, 1-0. Weather forced the series to conclude on Monday with a doubleheader in Tuscaloosa. It was the only game of the week for both programs.
No. 4 Michigan (28-4) enjoyed a 4-0 week launching 16 home runs and outscoring its opponents, 54-3, including a three-game Big Ten sweep at Ohio State (13-1, 13-1, 20-0). In the series finale against the Buckeyes, Wolverine head coach and NFCA Hall of Famer Carol Hutchens (’06) became just the third NCAA head coach to reach this milestone and is currently the second winningest active coach.
No. 6 Oklahoma (25-5) went 3-2 this week with wins over Iowa (14-0), Wichita State (10-0) and RV McNeese State (3-0). No. 7 Georgia (28-5) and No. 8 Auburn (32-2) both moved up one spot after 4-0 weeks, which included SEC sweeps of Arkansas (10-0, 12-4, 9-1) and then-No. 13 Kentucky (5-0, 9-7, 4-1), respectively.
Following a 5-1 week, Louisiana-Lafayette (25-4) dropped two spots to No. 9. The Ragin’ Cajuns swept a three-game non-conference series from Georgia Southern (8-2, 12-1, 9-0) and took two-of-three from Troy in a Sun Belt Conference battle (3-9, 6-3, 12-2).
Coming in the 10th spot is UCLA. The Bruins (29-5) return to the top 10 after a pair of Pac-12 road wins at then-No. 18 Washington (10-3, 8-4) to extend their winning streak to 15 games as of Sunday.
No. 24 South Alabama returns to the top 25 after a one-week hiatus, while No. 25 James Madison makes its first appearance of the season. The Jaguars (21-6) won four games last week, defeating Southern Mississippi, 9-1 and take all three from Appalachian State (6-1, 3-2, 8-0) in a Sun Belt series. The Dukes (22-6) have won 13 straight and 16 of their last 17 contests after sweeping Virginia (9-1, 10-2) in a doubleheader and going 3-0 in a neutral site CAA series against Towson (5-1/8, 4-3, 6-4).
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Current 2015 records are shown and first-place votes are in parentheses
USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Poll – March 24, 2015
|Rank||Team||2015 Record||Totals||Prev. Rank|
New to Poll: No. 24 South Alabama, No. 25 James Madison
Dropped out: No. 24 Mississippi State (22-8), No. 25 UAB (22-7)
Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame (15), Mississippi State (13), Western Kentucky (5), UAB (4), North Dakota State (4), Virginia Tech (3), USC Upstate (3), Florida Atlantic (2), Texas (1), South Carolina (1), Cal State Northridge (1).