OKLAHOMA CITY — A 6-0 week that included a Pac-12 sweep of Utah helped the UCLA Bruins (33-2, 8-1 Pac-12) remain atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 for the third straight week the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The Bruins received 16 first-place votes, while Tennessee (31-3, 8-1 SEC) garnered the remaining four.
UCLA started the week by defeating then No. 7 Washington 4-0 on Monday to close out the conference series with a win. The Bruins hosted UC Santa Barbara for a midweek doubleheader and came away with 5-1 and 9-1 (five innings) wins before heading into a weekend series with Utah. In game one of the series, UCLA run ruled the Utes 8-0 (five innings) on Friday and followed it with a 13-3, six-inning run rule on Saturday. In Sunday’s third and final game, the Bruins completed the sweep by beating Utah 4-1.
In the most highly anticipated series of the weekend, the Tennessee Lady Vols swept then-No. 4 Florida 9-2, 7-6 and 5-2 to retain their No. 2 ranking in the Top 25 poll. The Lady Vols were led by Southeastern Conference (SEC) Pitcher of the Week Ellen Renfroe (Jackson, Tenn.) who recorded all 3-0 wins and struck out 20 Gators in just 16 innings in the circle. Tennessee will next travel to Baton Rouge, La. for a three-game series with LSU.
Despite splitting a midweek doubleheader with an 8-0 (five inning) win over Southern Utah and a 5-6 loss to BYU, the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (30-4, 6-0 Pac-12) remained undefeated in Pac-12 play this week. Oregon run ruled Utah 14-3 (five innings) to close out a series on Monday and then swept then-No. 7 Washington 8-0 (five innings), 4-0 and 4-3 over the weekend. The Ducks will host UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday before welcoming top-ranked UCLA to Eugene for a three-game series this weekend.
Following a standalone victory over Jacksonville on Tuesday, Alabama (30-5, 11-1 SEC) swept LSU over the weekend 9-1 (six innings), 2-1 and 5-1 to notch their highest ranking in the poll this season coming in at No. 4. Currently the top ranked team in the SEC, the Crimson Tide now turn their sights towards a midweek matchup with No. 11 South Alabama before hosting SEC foe Arkansas in a three-game series this weekend.
Michigan (25-6, 6-0 Big 10) climbed back into the top five following a three-game sweep of Penn State in which the they outscored the Nittany Lions by a combined 40-4. In game one of a Saturday doubleheader, Michigan’s Haylie Wagner (Oregon, Calif.) pitched a one hitter to lead her team to a 6-0 win. In the second game of the day, Michigan’s hitters combined for a .516 batting average as they cruised to a 22-0, five inning run rule. In the third and final game of the series Wagner allowed four runs on three hits but the Michigan bats kept this one from being close as the Wolverines went on to win 12-4 in five innings.
Rounding out the Top 10: Arizona State (32-6, 6-3 Pac-12) jumped two spots to No. 6 following a 3-1 performance in their Pac-12 Conference series against then-No. 23 Stanford and then-No. 9 Arizona; No. 7 Florida (31-7, 5-7 SEC) fell out of the Top Five for the first time this season after being swept by Tennessee; No. 8 Florida State (33-4, 11-3 ACC) records their highest ranking of the 2014 season following a 3-0 week that included an 8-0 (six inning) win over Florida A&M as well as 6-0 and 5-3 wins at North Carolina; falling two spots to No. 9 Washington (21-10, 2-6 Pac-12) suffered a 0-4 loss to No. 1 UCLA on Monday and was swept by No. 3 Oregon over the weekend; No. 10 Arizona (28-9, 4-5 Pac-12) went 2-2 on the week by defeating Oregon State 14-1 (five innings) to close out a series on Monday and taking one-of-three from then No. 8 Arizona State in a series over the weekend.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives from 10 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.
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 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 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 the 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 six 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 24th year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, over 70,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 29 to June 4 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2014 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and make a date with champions!