OKLAHOMA CITY –Despite suffering its first loss of the season, the Oklahoma Sooners narrowly remain No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll after four weeks of action, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The Sooners (18-1) received 10 first place votes after going 3-1 over the weekend. They suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday to the then-No. 25 Nebraska Cornhuskers with a 1-0 defeat in Norman.
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Just two-points behind also earning 10 first place votes, the defending National Champions Alabama (22-0) were perfect with a 6-0 record including four run-rule victories as they hosted the Easton Classic in Tuscaloosa. The Sun Devils of Arizona State (21-1) stayed strong at No. 3 for the fourth consecutive week even after suffering a 6-2 defeat and season first loss at the hands of a now-No. 17 Baylor.
The Florida Gators (22-1) held strong at No. 4 this week with a 3-1 mid-week win over South Florida and then five more wins at the University of Florida tournament they hosted in Gainesville. Maintaining their place at No. 5 is the Texas A&M Aggies (22-1), despite suffering their first loss of the season to No. 14 Michigan.
At No. 6 is the California Golden Bears (15-2) who outscored opponents 27-7 at the Easton Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. 2012 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) top eight finalist the Oregon Ducks (19-3) jumped ahead to No. 8 this week from No. 12 after an impressive six-win weekend at the Citrus Classic. The Ducks scored 10 or more runs in four of its games and garnered two ranked wins over a then-No. 11 LSU (10-2 in 6 innings) and Michigan (12-1 win).
No. 11 Texas (19-3) dropped three spots this week after recording a 3-2 record at the Citrus Classic with losses to Hofstra and Fordham. The Louisville Cardinals (16-3) moved ahead three places to No. 13 with four wins and one loss, including two run-rule victories. No. 15 Kentucky (16-3) moved up two notches with five wins at the Under Armour Invitational in Tampa, Fla. while a now-No. 18 Louisiana Lafayette (15-5) saw the week’s largest move dropping from No. 13. The Ragin Cajuns played in the Citrus Classic and suffered three losses to Texas A&M, Texas, and Illinois State respectively.
Rounding out the poll at No. 25 is North Carolina (15-6) who makes its first appearance of the year going 5-1 over the week including a 3-0 blank over Baylor at the Wilson/DeMarini tournament in Tempe, Ariz. Previously ranked No. 24 Georgia dropped out of this week’s poll.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Softball Regions as well as members of National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.