WCWS Champ Florida finishes season at No 1 in the ESPNcom USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

By Steven Embree | June 10, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — After claiming their program’s first national championship at the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, Florida was voted No. 1 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll of the 2014 season, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The Gators (55-12, 15-9 SEC), who held a top-10 spot in every regular season poll this year and spent five weeks at No. 1, swept all 20 first-place votes after a 10-1 performance in the post season, including a 5-0 campaign in Oklahoma City during the NCAA WCWS.

Click here to see the complete poll.

To advance to Oklahoma City, Florida first outscored its regional opponents 29-0 to advance to the Super Regional round. The Gators then took two-of-three from then-No. 9 Washington in the Supers, including 9-0 (five innings) and 8-0 (five innings) run rules to earn a coveted spot in the WCWS.

The Gators started their week in Oklahoma City with a commanding 11-0 (five inning) win over then-No. 17 Baylor (49-16, 13-5 Big 12) before posting a  4-0, five-inning shutout over then-No. 1 Oregon (56-9-1, 20-3-1 Pac-12). In a Sunday rematch with Baylor, the Gators held on for a 6-3 win, punching their ticket to the Championship Series versus conference rivals, then-No. 5 Alabama (53-13, 19-5 SEC). It took Florida just two games to secure their first ever WCWS Championship as they knocked off the Crimson Tide 5-0 in game one and 6-3 in game two.

Alabama finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation. En route to the final round in Oklahoma City, the Tide advanced out of the Regionals by beating SIU-Edwardsville 13-3 (five innings), then-No. 24 USC Upstate 7-1 and then-No. 21 South Alabama 3-0. Alabama then faced then-No. 20 Nebraska (44-18, 18-5 Big 10) in the Super Regionals and squeaked out back-to-back one-run victories, 6-5 (12 innings) and 2-1, to earn a trip back to Oklahoma City. At the NCAA WCWS, Alabama topped then-No. 10 and defending National Champs Oklahoma (51-13, 16-2 Big 12) 6-2 on day one and then took consecutive 2-0 wins over then-No. 14 Kentucky (50-19, 13-11 SEC) and then-No. 1 Oregon to lock up a spot in the NCAA WCWS Championship Series.

Oregon finished the season at No. 3 following a WCWS run that included a 3-0 win against then-No. 3 Florida State (55-9, 24-3 ACC), the 4-0 loss against Florida and a 4-2 win over Oklahoma before being eliminated from the tournament by Alabama in a 2-0 loss. 

Oklahoma finished the season at No. 4 after a 1-2 performance at the WCWS in which the Sooners fell to Alabama 2-6, defeated Louisiana-Lafayette (49-10-1, 19-1 Sun Belt)  3-1 and were eventually eliminated from the tournament, falling to Oregon 2-4.

Rounding out the Top 10 teams of the 2014 season are No. 5 Baylor, No. 6 Kentucky, No. 7 Florida State , No. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 9 UCLA (50-11, 19-5 Pac-12) and No. 10 Michigan (47-15, 18-5 Big 10). 

USC Upstate (46-9, 22-2 A-Sun) fell out of the Top 25 this week following their elimination from the NCAA tournament during their Regional appearance. With their exit, DePaul (44-11, 18-1 Big East) entered the poll at No. 25 joined after taking Kentucky to an if-necessary game in their Regional contest.

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.

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 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 traveled to Oklahoma City and completed for a National Championship title this year. Tickets for the 2015 NCAA WCWS are on pre-sale now, click here to put a deposit on your tickets and make a date with champions!

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