Florida ousts Alabama from top spot in ESPN.com/USA Softball poll
OKLAHOMA CITY — Led by undefeated Florida, a trio of schools from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) remain at the top of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. The Gators (14-0), receiving 11 of the first-place votes, are No. 1 for the first time this season.
As hosts of the Lipton Invitational, Florida defeated Valparaiso 13-4, Syracuse 2-0, North Dakota State 18-0 (five innings), Pacific 10-2 (six) and North Dakota State again 9-0 (five). In previous weeks, the team has also counted wins against ranked opponents including UCLA, currently ranked No. 10, and No. 13 Texas.
In 2011, no team has held the poll’s top spot consecutively for more than one week, with Alabama (20-1) becoming the latest No. 1 to fall from the top spot. Behind a 1-0 loss to Louisiana Lafayette, the Crimson Tide fell to second place, despite eight first-place votes. Alabama recovered from the lone loss of the season with three wins including a 10-0 (five) pounding of now-No. 15 Oregon.
Georgia (17-1) received a No. 1 vote but are ranked third, down a spot from last week. Hosting the 2011 Bulldog Invitational, the team topped Indiana 2-0, Campbell 7-0 and Chattanooga 4-3 but had other contests rained out.
No. 4 Arizona (19-2), No. 5 Michigan (22-0), No. 6 Washington (16-0), No. 7 Arizona State (17-1) and No. 8 Tennessee (20-2) hold the same spots from last week. With wins against two ranked teams last week, Oklahoma State and Auburn, Oklahoma (17-5) reenters the Top 10 at No. 9. Behind a 5-1 loss to Baylor, UCLA dropped a spot to No. 10.
Baylor (19-2) enters the Top 25 for the first time this season, coming in at No. 22. At the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, the Bears topped UCLA, Fresno State and Cal Poly but lost 7-1 to Long Beach State.
Auburn dropped out of the poll with a 6-0 loss to Oklahoma and a 3-2 contest with Oklahoma State. The team did defeat Illinois-Chicago 3-2 and also beat Oklahoma State 4-3 in their first meeting. Last week, the Tigers ranked No. 25, their first national ranking since May 2006.
ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
March 8 – Feb. 28 – March 6 – Week 4
Dropped Out: Auburn
New to Poll: Baylor
Others receiving votes: Auburn (30), Syracuse (28), Alabama-Birmingham (24), Notre Dame (9), Ohio State (7), Fresno State (5), DePaul (4), Long Beach State (3), SC Upstate (3)