Top teams hold steady in Top 25 Poll

By Steven Embree | April 02, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — With a 26-4 overall record this week, the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 10 teams remain the same in this week’s poll the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. Collecting 18 first-place votes, the Oklahoma Sooners (30-2) extend their streak at No. 1 to eight straight weeks following a pair of wins over Wichita State.

The Sooners visited Wichita State on Wednesday and outscored the home team 23-2 in doubleheader action. In game one, Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) picked up the 7-1 win as she threw seven complete innings allowing just one run on two hits. In game two the Sooners completed the sweep as they scored ten runs in the first two innings on their way to a 16-1 victory.

Arizona State (34-3, 5-1 Pac-12), who received one first-place vote this week, picked up three conference wins against Oregon State over the weekend to maintain their No. 2 ranking. The Sun Devils took game one 5-4 over the Beavers on Friday and followed it with a 5-1 win on Saturday and an 11-0 (5) run-rule on Sunday.

Following a 7-3 win over Florida State on Wednesday, the No. 3 Florida Gators (35-3, 10-2 SEC) traveled to Oxford, Miss, for a three-game Southeastern Conference (SEC) series over the weekend. Florida topped Ole Miss 4-1 Friday and picked up two more wins on Sunday (8-0, 8-7). The Gators will next face Central Florida at home April 3 before hosting Mississippi State in a three-game series, April 5-7

California (27-3, 3-0 Pac-12) and Tennessee (29-6, 6-3 SEC) also maintained their fourth and fifth place rankings. The Golden Bears, who collected one first-place vote, competed in just one game over the week, defeating Sacramento State 1-0 on the road. The Lady Vols began their week by defeating Eastern Kentucky 8-0 in five innings on Wednesday before traveling to Lexington, Ky. for a matchup with then-No. 20 Kentucky on Friday. Tennessee improved their win count with a 6-0 victory over the Wildcats.

Rounding out the Top 10: No. 6 Missouri (20-2, 7-1 SEC), which had three wins over South Carolina; No. 7 Alabama (32-5, 8-4 SEC) had a win over Houston (6-3) and went 2-1 in a series with then-No. 9 Texas A&M; No. 8 Texas (32-4, 4-0 Big 12) had three conference wins at Kansas; No. 9 Oregon (28-5, 5-1 Pac-12) moved up one spot this week following a 10-3 win over then-No. 17 Stanford and a 2-1 series record with then-No. 15 Washington; No. 10 Texas A&M (28-7, 5-6 SEC) fell one spot after a 2-2 week that included wins over Texas State (9-1) and No. 7 Alabama (3-2).

No. 11 Louisville ( 28-6, 2-1 Big East) remains just outside the Top 10 this week following a 2-1 series with Syracuse. Coming in at No. 14, the Stanford Cardinal (24-9, 4-2 Pac-12) made the biggest jump in this week’s poll, rising three spots from last week following a pair of wins over then-No. 14 UCLA (25-8, 2-4 Pac-12).

New to the poll is No. 23 Wisconsin (27-4, 5-1 Big 10) and No. 25 North Carolina (25-13, 6-3 ACC). The Badgers, who went 2-1 in a three-game series at Iowa this week, enter the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 for the first time in program history. The Tar Hills impressed voters with a 3-1 week that included two wins over then-No. 24 Virginia Tech (19-8, 1-4 ACC). Dropping out of the poll is last week’s No. 23 Georgia (26-10, 6-3 SEC) and No. 24 Virginia Tech, who both lost their conference series match-ups last week.

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions as well as members of National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.

About ASA

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
 
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.

About the NCAA Women’s College World Series

The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 23rd year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, over 75,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 30 to June 5 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2013 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and make a date with champions!

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