3-25-2014 UCLA Tops NFCA Poll

MARCH 25 NFCA POLL

UCLA Ascends to No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll

March 25, 2014   LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A familiar name has returned to a familiar place as UCLA (27-2) advanced to No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll for the first time since topping the rankings back on February 15, 2011.   With previously top-rated Florida having suffered a series loss at then-No. 9 Alabama, the Bruins ascended into the lofty position by earning 23 of 32 possible first-place votes from the NFCA Division I Top 25 Committee. UCLA opened the week by completing an impressive series sweep of then-No. 7 Arizona (2-0) before venturing to Seattle, Wash., to split a pair of match-ups at then-No. 5 Washington (W 4-2, L 2-10 in 5 inn.).   Oregon (25-3) picked up five first-place nods to climb a single spot to No. 2 after taking the first two games in a three-contest set at Utah (W 8-7, W 12-7). A close scrape past Middle Tennessee (W 9-8) and a hard-fought series sweep of South Carolina (W 11-2 in 5 inn., W 5-4, W 6-5) helped Tennessee (28-3) improve one spot to third.   Following five consecutive weeks at No. 1, fourth-ranked Florida (30-4) was ambushed by series rival Alabama during the teams’ high-profile series in Gainesville, Fla. The Crimson Tide nabbed the opener, 4-2, before the Gators responded to even things in a 7-1 triumph. During Sunday’s rubber-match, UA senior pitcher Jaclyn Traina fired a two-hit shutout as ‘Bama took the series via a 7-0 victory. Washington (21-6) held steady at No. 5 following its two-game split versus the Bruins.   A series sweep of Indiana allowed Michigan (22-6) to remain sixth, while the impressive results at UF helped Alabama (27-5) rise from ninth into the No. 7 spot.   A 4-1 effort wasn’t enough to keep Arizona (27-6) from dropping one position to eighth, while sweeps of North Florida and Boston College moved Florida State (30-4) up a position to No. 9. A 7-5 loss to unranked Kansas, as part of an otherwise successful 6-1 weekly performance, proved the key blow in Kentucky’s (27-5) dropping from eighth to 10th.   There were no exiting teams for the second straight poll as James Madison (22-9), USF (29-8), DePaul (18-6), USC Upstate (29-4), Lipscomb (26-5), California (18-11), LSU (19-12), N.C. State (19-10) and Long Beach State (23-9) comprised 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 7 – March 25, 2014

Rank

Team

2014 Record

Totals

Last Poll Rank

1

UCLA (23)

27-2

783

2

2

Oregon (5)

25-3

750

3

3

Tennessee (2)

28-3

726

4

4

Florida (2)

30-4

718

1

5

Washington

21-6

649

5

6

Michigan

22-6

626

6

7

Alabama

27-5

613

9

8

Arizona

27-6

584

7

9

Florida State

30-4

534

10

10

Kentucky

27-5

526

8

11

Arizona State

29-5

492

11

12

South Alabama

25-3

438

13

13

Georgia

28-3

399

14

14

Baylor

23-5

381

12

15

Minnesota

24-4

358

16

16

Missouri

22-7

281

18

17

Texas A&M

23-9

275

15

18

Tulsa

28-3

263

19

19

Nebraska

20-10

225

17

20

Louisiana Lafayette

22-6-1

210

20

21

Auburn

28-5-1

166

21

22

Oklahoma

21-8

156

22

23

Northwestern

17-6

83

23

24

Stanford

23-10

48

24

25

Notre Dame

19-7

34

25

  Dropped Out:  None   Others Receiving Votes:  James Madison (28), USF (26), DePaul (10), USC Upstate (7), Lipscomb (4), California (2), LSU (2), N.C. State (2), Long Beach State (1).

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