Duck unanimous No 1 once again in the ESPNcomUSA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll
OKLAHOMA CITY — For the fourth consecutive week the Oregon Ducks (44-5, 17-1 Pac-12) maintain their No. 1 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. For the third straight week, all 20 first-place votes were awarded to the Ducks who went 4-0 on the week extending their winning streak to ten.
The Ducks started their week with a 4-2 home win in a non-conference matchup with Portland State before traveling to Stanford for a three-game, Pac-12 series. Oregon’s offense was consistent as it scored seven runs in each of the three contests and swept the Cardinal with 7-0, 7-1, and 7-2 wins.
UCLA (44-4, 15-3 Pac-12), who was also undefeated on the week, is No. 2 for the third consecutive time. The Bruins started the week with a pair of wins over Long Beach State (10-6 and 8-1) on Monday and carried the momentum into a weekend series at Berkeley where they swept California 11-1 (five innings), 9-7 and 3-2.
Arizona State (42-7, 11-3 Pac-12) stepped out of conference to take on Southern Mississippi in a three game series and the Sun Devils took care of business going 3-0 and out scoring Golden Eagles 19-0. With the series sweep, Arizona State climbed back up to the No. 3 ranking this week, a position they previously held earlier this year in week three.
Moving up two spots, No. 4 Florida State (47-6, 24-3 ACC) closed out their regular season with a three-game series sweep of Georgia Tech this week. In a doubleheader on Saturday, the Seminoles ousted the Yellow Jackets 5-1 in game one and 4-0 in game two. On Sunday, Florida State got their second shutout of the week as they defeated Georgia Tech 3-0 setting the mark for most ACC wins in a season at 24. The Seminoles will take a week off before entering the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament as the top seed May 8-10 in College Park, Md.
Alabama (42-9, 17-4 SEC) also climbed two spots this week to rejoin the Top 5 following a 3-1 week that included a series win over No. 18 Georgia. The Crimson Tide began the week with a 12-0 rout of Southern Mississippi on Tuesday prior to welcoming the Bulldogs to Tuscaloosa for their weekend series. It was a team effort as seven of Alabama’s starting nine recorded a hit in game one of the series and they took the 4-2 win. Georgia scored seven runs in the third inning of game two and cruised to a 10-2 win evening the series. In Saturday’s rubber match, Alabama Senior Pitcher Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) earned her 99th career win as the Crimson Tide took a 4-1 decision securing the series. Alabama will close out Southeastern Conference (SEC) play when they travel to No. 15 Missouri for a three-game series this week.
No. 6 Michigan (39-9, 17-3 Big 10) fell three spots this week following losses at Purdue (2-3) and Illinois (2-10, six innings). Florida (42-10, 12-9 SEC) also dropped two spots to No. 7 this week after losing a series to then-No. 17 Missouri. No. 8 Arizona (39-9, 12-6 Pac-12) had a perfect week defeating New Mexico State 13-3 (five innings) and 13-7 on Wednesday and then sweeping a conference series against Utah. Coming off of an 8-0, six inning run rule over Furman and a series win over then-No. 10 Kentucky, the Tennessee Lady Vols are No. 9 in this weeks poll. Rounding out the Top 10 is Washington (28-12, 8-8 Pac-12) who swept conference foe Oregon State over the weekend.
Despite a lot of shifting in positions this week, the Top 25 teams remained the same for the third consecutive week. Louisiana-Lafayette (37-8-1, 16-1 Sun Belt) made the biggest jump moving up three spots to No. 13 in this weeks poll following a 5-0 week that included a pair of wins over then-No. 14 Baylor.
The Road to Oklahoma City continues as teams compete in their final week of regular season play before heading into Conference Championship Tournaments. The Pac-12 now leads the Top 10 with five teams while the Southeastern Conference (SEC) has three and the Big 10 and ACC each have one representative.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions as well as members of the 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
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!