March 27 2012 California Reclaims Top Spot ESPN/USA Softball poll

March 27 ESPN Poll

Cal reclaims No. 1 spot atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

OKLAHOMA CITY – The California Golden Bears are back on top of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. Cal (29-1, 3-0 Pac-12) held the coveted No. 1 spot for five consecutive weeks before falling to No. 2 following a loss to Hawaii in Week Six. After a week as the top team in the nation, Alabama (30-1, 7-1 SEC) fell to No. 2 after suffering their first loss of the season to then-No. 11 Tennessee in conference play. The Golden Bears earned 18 first-place votes this week while Alabama remained the only other team this week to receive No. 1 votes, receiving two.

En route to the top spot, the Golden Bears defeated Princeton 8-0 in five innings before kicking off conference play against then-No. 9 Stanford. Ace pitcher Jolene Henderson limited Stanford to a .161 batting average while Valerie Arioto notched seven RBI as Cal swept the Pac-12 series 9-0, 4-3 and 8-0. This week, Cal hosts Sacramento State before hosting Washington for another conference match-up. Following a week at No. 1, Alabama struggled against Southeastern Conference (SEC) rivals Tennessee and dropped to No. 2. The Crimson Tide collected an eleven inning, 3-2 win before falling to the Lady Vols 5-2, snapping a 26-game winning streak and marking the first time Alabama has lost at home since March, 2011. The Crimson Tide bounced back from the loss, however, and captured the Easton Alabama Challenge title later in the week after defeating DePaul 4-3 and 9-7 and rolling past Longwood 11-0 (5) and 7-2.

For the fifth-consecutive week, Washington (32-1, 3-0 Pac-12) holds the No. 3 spot while Florida (29-1, 10-1 SEC) stays strong at No. 4. The Huskies nabbed five wins at home, including a conference-opening sweep of Utah, while the Gators defeated SEC foe Arkansas three times. Arizona State (31-3, 3-0 Pac-12) recaptured the No. 5 spot this week following a conference sweep against then-No. 13 Arizona (19-8, 0-3 Pac-12). The Sun Devils routed the Wildcats 4-2, 9-6 and 7-6, marking the 11th time in program history that Arizona State has swept their in-state rival Arizona since 1971. Despite a perfect weekend against Iowa State, Texas (26-2, 5-0 Big 12) dropped to No. 6 in the polls. Rounding out the Top 10: No. 7 Oklahoma (26-4, 2-1 Big 12), which went 2-1 against then-No. 18 Baylor (22-8, 1-2 Big 12); No. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette (30-1, 5-1 Sun Belt), which had two wins against Georgia Tech and went 2-1 against Troy; No. 9 Tennessee (23-7, 7-4 SEC) which had wins against Mississippi State and went 1-1 with Alabama; and No. 10 Georgia (27-5, 7-2 SEC), which had wins over Georgia State and Mississippi.

Although they remain the lone member of the Top 25 Poll without a loss this season, Louisville (27-0, 3-0 Big East), is No. 11, their highest ranking in the polls to date. After reaching the Top 10 for the first time since the Week 1 poll was released Feb. 14, Missouri (23-5, 4-2 Big 12) fell to No. 12 this week after falling to now-No. 15 Texas A&M (22-9, 2-1 Big 12) twice. No. 13 Stanford (25-6, 0-3 Pac-12) also fell out of the Top 10 this week after a sweep at home at the hands of Cal.

LSU enters the Top 25 this week at No. 23, while last week’s No. 25 North Carolina dropped out. The SEC has the most teams in the Top 10 this week with four followed closely by the Pac-12 with three. The Big 12 has two teams in the top ten while Louisiana-Lafayette from the Sun Belt Conference holds the remaining spot.

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

March 27, 2012 — Week 7 (March 19 – 25, 2012)

Rank

Team

Record

Points

Previous Ranking

1.

California (18)

29-1

498

2

2.

Alabama (2)

30-1

475

1

3.

Washington

32-1

464

3

4.

Florida

29-1

436

4

5.

Arizona State

31-3

409

6

6.

Texas

26-2

406

5

7.

Oklahoma

26-4

369

7

8.

Louisiana-Lafayette

30-1

356

8

9.

Tennessee

23-7

344

11

10.

Georgia

27-5

318

12

11.

Louisville

27-0

300

14

12.

Missouri

23-5

267

10

13.

Stanford

25-6

262

9

14.

UCLA

21-6

212

16

15.

Texas A&M

22-9

187

19

16.

Oregon

19-6

183

15

17.

Arizona

19-8

167

13

18.

Hawaii

26-3

163

17

19.

Michigan

21-9

156

20

20.

Baylor

22-8

134

18

21.

South Florida

29-5

123

22

22.

Florida State

29-5

93

23

23.

LSU

23-7

43

RV

24.

Auburn

24-9

32

21

25.

Syracuse

19-8

31

24

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

Dropped Out: North Carolina (25)
New to Poll: LSU (RV)

Others receiving votes: North Carolina (28); Oregon State (20); Tulsa (8); New Mexico (7); DePaul (4); Nebraska (3); Kansas (1); Troy (1)

 

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