Arizona State finishes season with No. 1 ranking in ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll
OKLAHOMA CITY — Following an undefeated campaign at the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, Arizona State was voted No. 1 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll of the 2011 season, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. The Sun Devils (59-6, 17-4 Pac-10) went 10-0 in the post season, including a 5-0 campaign in Oklahoma City, to claim the school’s second NCAA Division I Softball National Championship in four years.
To advance to Oklahoma City, Arizona State eliminated then-No. 17 Texas A&M 3-2 and 3-4 in the Super Regionals, following run rule victories over North Dakota State and Long Beach State in Regionals. The Sun Devils also beat San Diego State 6-1 to clinch the Regional in Tempe, Ariz.
In the Championship Series of the WCWS, Arizona State convincingly defeated then-tie No. 5 Florida 14-4 and 7-2. The Sun Devils started their week in Oklahoma City with a 3-1 win over Oklahoma, then-tied for No. 12, a 6-5 win over Florida and a 4-0 win over then-No. 15 Baylor 4-0. Sun Devil ace Dallas Escobedo was named the co-Most Outstanding Player of the WCWS along with Florida’s Michelle Moultrie.
Florida (56-13, 21-7 SEC) finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation. En route to the final round in Oklahoma City, the Gators advanced out of the Regionals by beating then-No. 16 UCLA, the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series winners, and taking out then No. 11 Oregon in Supers. In Oklahoma City, Florida topped then-No. 4 Missouri 6-2, then-tie No. 5 California 5-2 and then No. 3 Alabama 16-2 and 9-2. Alabama (53-11, 19-6 SEC) finished the season at No. 3 after being eliminated from the WCWS by the Gators, following a 1-0 win against California and a 3-0 win against Baylor.
Rounding out the Top 10 teams of the 2011 season are No. 4 Baylor (47-15, 11-7 Big 12), No. 5 California (45-13, 15-6 Pac-10), No. 6 Missouri (53-10, 15-3 Big-12), No. 7 Oklahoma (43-19, 10-8 Big 12), No. 8 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Georgia (51-14, 17-9 SEC) and No. 10 Stanford (42-17, 10-11 Pac-10), which was led by 2011 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Ashley Hansen. All of the Top 8 teams competed at the WCWS. Georgia lost in Super Regionals to Baylor. Stanford lost in Supers to Alabama.
Outside of the Top 10, Michigan (53-6, 18-2 Big Ten) experienced its lowest ranking of the year, falling from the No. 2 spot to No. 17. The Wolverines were eliminated from the post season at the Ann Arbor, Mich., Regional after two losses to then-No. 21 Kentucky, 7-6 and 2-1. Kentucky (40-16, 14-9 SEC) finished the season at No. 12, eliminated by California in a three game Super Regional.
The Wolverines were not the only highly touted team to not make it past Regionals. Then-No. 7 Tennessee (49-12, 20-8 SEC) and No. 9 Texas (46-10, 14-4 Big 12) were both eliminated from their own Regional. While Tennessee was ousted by Oklahoma State, Texas fell 1-0 to Houston and 5-3 to then-No. 22 ULL. Tennessee ended the season at No. 16. Texas finished at No. 19. ULL finished at No. 25.
Auburn (40-19, 15-13 SEC) fell out of the Top 25, dropping after two losses to BYU in the Seattle Regional. With Auburn’s exit, Houston (44-18, 16-5 C-USA) re-entered the poll, finishing the season at No. 18. Houston appeared in the Stillwater, Okla., Super Regional, where they went 1-2 against Oklahoma State.
ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
2011 Season – Final
Dropped Out: Auburn
New to Poll: Houston
Others receiving votes: Tulsa (22); BYU (20); Auburn (12); DePaul (10); Louisville (9); San Diego State (9); East Carolina (8); Penn State (4); Florida State (1); and Syracuse (1)