6-12-2012 WCWS Propels Tide to Top in ESPN Poll

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 12, 2012

Alabama finishes the season at No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — After claiming their program’s first national championship at the 2012 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, Alabama was voted No. 1 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll of the 2012 season, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. The Crimson Tide (60-8, 26-5 SEC) swept all 20 first-place votes after a 10-1 performance in the post season, including a 5-1 campaign in Oklahoma City, to earn the Southeastern Conference (SEC) their first national championship title. Alabama took the No. 1 spot from California (58-7, 21-3 Pac-12) for the second time this season after the Golden Bears had claimed the top spot in 13 regular season polls this year.

To advance to Oklahoma City, Alabama defeated Tennessee-Martin 5-1 and added two additional wins to their record following their 1-0 and 6-0 victories over South Alabama. Next, the Crimson Tide eliminated then-No. 19 Michigan (42-17, 18-5 Big 10) 4-1 and 4-3 in the Super Regionals held in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Crimson Tide started their week in Oklahoma City with a 5-3 win over SEC rival, then-No. 5, Tennessee (52-14, 23-7 SEC) and a 2-1 win over defending National Champion and then-No. 2 Arizona State before facing the No. 1 overall seed California. Alabama collected three home runs and scored in every inning but the first to down top-seeded California 5-2, earning them their first trip to the Championship Series of the WCWS. In the Championship Series, Alabama earned their first post-season loss at the hands of then-No. 4 Oklahoma by a score of 4-1. The Tide bounced back, however, and defeated the Sooners 8-6 to force an if-necessary game to determine the new National Champion. Two rain delays later, the Crimson Tide won the best-of-three series and defeated Oklahoma 5-4. With the win, Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.) finished the season with 42 wins, an amount which currently leads the NCAA, and earned the title of Most Outstanding Player of the WCWS.

Oklahoma (54-10, 16-5 Big 12) finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation. En route to the final round in Oklahoma City, the Sooners advanced out of the Regionals by beating Lehigh 19-3 (5 innings), then-No. 25 Tulsa 7-1 and then-No. 24 Oregon State 6-0. The Sooners then faced then-No. 15 Arizona for the second-consecutive year in the Super Regionals, and ousted the Wildcats 6-0 and 7-1 to earn a trip to Oklahoma City. At the WCWS, Oklahoma topped then-No. 22 South Florida 5-1, then-No. 1 California 3-0 and then No. 2 Arizona 5-3 to earn a trip to the WCWS Championship Series for the second time in program history.

 

California finished the season at No. 3 after being eliminated from the WCWS by Alabama, following a 5-3 win against LSU, a 3-0 loss against Oklahoma and a 6-3 win against then-No. 12 Oregon. Arizona State (53-11, 18-4 Pac-12) fell to No. 4 after a 2-2 performance in which the Sun Devils collected an early 3-1 win against Pac-12 rival Oregon before falling to Alabama 2-1. Arizona State survived elimination by topping LSU 6-0 before ending their season with the 5-3 loss to Oklahoma.

 

Rounding out the Top 10 teams of the 2012 season are No. 5 Oregon (45-18, 13-9 Pac-12), No. 6 LSU (40-25, 15-13 SEC), No. 7 Tennessee (52-14, 23-7 SEC), No. 8 South Florida (50-14, 17-5 Big East), No. 9 Louisiana-Lafayette (53-6, 21-3 Sun Belt) and No. 10 Georgia (45-17, 18-12 SEC). All of the Top 8 teams competed at the WCWS while Louisiana-Lafayette lost in Super Regionals to Arizona State and Georgia lost in the Supers to Tennessee.

Outside of the Top 10, Florida (48-13, 23-8 SEC) experienced its lowest ranking of the year, falling from the No. 6 spot to No. 16. The Gators were eliminated from the post season at the Gainesville, Fla. Regional after a 2-1 loss at the hands of Florida Gulf Coast University and a 1-0 loss to South Florida, which eliminated the Gators from the NCAA tournament.

The Gators were not the only highly ranked team to not make it to Oklahoma City. Then-No. 7 Louisville (55-5, 20-2 Big East) was eliminated from their own Regional by Michigan while then-No. 8 Texas (47-13, 16-8 Big 12) and then-No. 9 Missouri (47-14, 17-7 Big 12) were both eliminated from their own Super Regionals. The No. 12 Longhorns were eliminated by Oregon while No. 11 Missouri fell twice to LSU.

Oregon State (36-23, 9-14 Pac-12), Texas Tech (41-17, 13-10 Big 12) and Tulsa (42-14, 19-5 Conference USA) fell out of the Top 25 this week following their eliminations from the NCAA tournament at their respective Regionals. With their exits, LSU re-entered the poll at No. 6, Hofstra (42-15, 19-0 CAA) entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 17 and Syracuse re-entered the poll at No. 24.

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

June 12, 2012 — Final (May 14 – June 6, 2012)

 

Rank

Team

Record

Points

Previous Ranking

1.

Alabama (20)

60-8

500

3

2.

Oklahoma

54-10

480

4

3.

California

58-7

459

1

4.

Arizona State

53-11

441

2

5.

Oregon

45-18

414

12

6.

LSU

40-25

395

RV

7.

Tennessee

52-14

389

5

8.

South Florida

50-14

354

22

9.

Louisiana-Lafayette

53-6

303

10

10.

Georgia

45-17

302

11

11.

Missouri

47-14

297

9

12.

Texas

47-13

294

8

13.

Arizona

38-19

233

15

14.

Washington

39-19

223

18

15.

Michigan

42-17

216

19

16.

Florida

48-13

196

6

17.

Hofstra

42-15

187

NR

18.

Louisville

55-5

171

7

19.

Texas A&M

41-18

141

13

20.

Stanford

40-19

89

17

21.

UCLA

36-20

68

14

22.

Florida State

47-16

52

20

23.

Hawaii

44-9

47

16

24.

Syracuse

43-16

46

RV

25.

North Carolina

43-15

39

21

 

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

 

Dropped Out: -Texas Tech (23); Oregon State (24); Tulsa (25)
New to Poll: – LSU (RV); Hofstra (-); Syracuse (RV)

 

Others receiving votes: Texas Tech (35); Oregon State (34); Baylor (16); Georgia Tech (13); Notre Dame (11); San Diego State (10); Virginia Tech (9); Arkansas (7); Northwestern (6); Tulsa (6); Kentucky (5); BYU (4); Texas State (4); South Alabama (4); UMASS (1)

 

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