3-4-2014 March 4 NFCA DI Poll

Florida Nearly Unanimous at No. 1 in USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll

March 4, 2014

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – This week’s vote wasn’t quite unanimous, but it was close as Florida (21-0) received 30 of 32 possible first-place nods to maintain firm hold over the No. 1 position in the March 4th edition of the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll.

 

On what proved to be a weather-plagued weekend throughout much of the U.S., the Gators extended their season-opening winning streak to 21 straight contests at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. UF prevailed in a high-profile match-up over then-No. 4 Oregon (2-1 in 8 inn.) before adding triumphs over Fordham (9-2), Ohio State (9-1 in 6 inn.), Maryland (16-0 in 5 inn.) and Radford (7-0).

 

Despite suffering the razor-thin defeat against Florida, Oregon (18-2) utilized a strong effort at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic to climb from fourth to No. 2 in the latest rankings. The Ducks earned triumphs over then-No. 25 Auburn (3-0), Bradley (2-0), Maryland (10-2 in 5 inn.) and Illinois State (2-0).

 

A 6-3 loss to BYU at the rain-plagued San Diego Classic in San Diego, Calif., ended Tennessee’s (15-1) perfect start to the 2014 campaign. As a result, the Lady Vols, despite earning a single first-place nod, dropped a spot to third.

 

Weather issues at the Long Beach Classic in Long Beach, Calif., wreaked havoc on the schedules for both UCLA (16-0) and Michigan (13-2), but both squads still managed to rise a single position this week to fourth and fifth, respectively.

 

Washington (16-2) advanced a slot to sixth after going 3-0 last week at the Libby Matson Tournament in Stockton, Calif. Five straight victories within the friendly confines of Hillenbrand Stadium helped Arizona (18-1) continue its rapid ascension of the polls as the ‘Cats leapt from 10th to seventh.

 

No. 8 Kentucky (16-2) and No. 9 Florida State (18-2) held steady, while consecutive defeats to then-No. 19 Minnesota (2-3) and Ball State (0-3) at the Louisville Slugger Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., resulted in Arizona State’s (19-3) plummeting seven slots from third to 10th.

 

Auburn dropped out of the No. 25 position following a 4-2 effort that included tough losses against then-No. 9 Florida State (4-5) and then-No. 4 Oregon (0-3). The Tigers’ exit allowed for the entrance of USC Upstate (19-0) at No. 25. The national ranking marks just the second time the Spartans have ever been listed in the USA Today/NFCA Division I poll with the last occurrence coming at No. 24 back on April 9, 2013.

 

 

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 4 – March 4, 2014

 

Rank

Team

2014 Record

Totals

Last Poll Rank

1

Florida (30)

21-0

798

1

2

Oregon

18-2

734

4

3

Tennessee (1)

15-1

732

2

4

UCLA (1)

16-0

712

5

5

Michigan

13-2

649

6

6

Washington

16-2

637

7

7

Arizona

18-1

578

10

8

Kentucky

16-2

570

8

9

Florida State

18-2

564

9

10

Arizona State

19-3

536

3

11

Alabama

17-4

471

11

12

Baylor

16-4

437

12

13

Texas A&M

16-4

382

13

14

South Alabama

15-2

360

14

15

Missouri

12-3

346

17

16

Nebraska

12-6

300

16

17

Minnesota

15-2

273

19

18

Georgia

16-2

222

18

19

Oklahoma

13-6

203

20

20

Tulsa

16-2

200

21

21

Notre Dame

15-3

168

23

22

Stanford

17-5

164

15

23

Louisiana Lafayette

14-5-1

119

24

24

LSU

15-6

70

22

25

USC Upstate

19-0

57

RV

 

Dropped Out:  No. 25 Auburn (17-3-1)

 

Others Receiving Votes:  Auburn (39), Mississippi State (27), Northwestern (23), Hofstra (12), DePaul (9), USF (5), San Diego State (2), UAB (1).

 

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