Top 5 remains unchanged as Florida, Arizona, Florida State, Texas A&M, and Minnesota maintain ranking in Week 11 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll
OKLAHOMA CITY — With an overall record of 20-2 on the week, the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 5 teams remain the same in this week’s poll USA Softball announced today. Following a 4-0 week at home, the No. 1 Florida Gators (44-3) captured a majority of first-place votes with 17, while the remaining three were split evenly among No. 2 Arizona (45-4), No. 4 Texas A&M (40-5), and No. 5 Minnesota (43-3).
After a midweek game which resulted in Florida ousting in-state opponent UCF 9-1 in six innings, the Gators moved on to their three-game Southeastern Conference (SEC) series against then-No. 20 Ole Miss (31-16). Florida proceeded to outscore and shut out Ole Miss 10-0 over the course of the weekend, leading to their second-straight series sweep over Ole Miss and extending their win streak out to nine games. Florida resumes action this weekend for a Top 10 matchup against No. 8 Tennessee (41-6) in Knoxville, Tenn.
Ranked at No. 2 is Arizona, who went 4-1 on the week, including a weekday doubleheader sweep over New Mexico State in which the Wildcats outscored the Aggies 19-1 on the road. Arizona returned home to face then-No. 6 Oregon (38-6) where they earned the series win after defeating the Ducks in the first two meetings. The Ducks avoided the sweep by claiming the series finale against the Wildcats, winning 4-3. The Wildcats continue their homestand this week welcoming in-state Pac-12 opponent, No. 23 Arizona State (27-14).
No. 3 Florida State (43-3-1) maintains their spot in the poll after posting a 4-0 week on the road. A pair of wins over Troy began the week for the Seminoles before they traveled to Louisville, Ky. for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) series against Louisville. The Seminoles posted an 11-0 (five inning) win over the Cardinals in game one to clinch the 2017 ACC regular season championship before playing an additional 10 innings in game two to pull off the 4-3 victory. Florida State has begun Week 12 of play by completing their series sweep over Louisville and will continue this week by returning home to welcome North Carolina.
Despite falling to then-No. 18 Louisiana (36-6) 11-9 in their first game of the week, Texas A&M completed their week with a series sweep over then-No. 23 Georgia (30-18) at home to keep their No. 4 ranking. Against Georgia, the Texas A&M pitching staff held the Bulldogs to just three runs in the series opener before winning back-to-back shutouts to complete the series sweep. Texas A&M will travel to Lexington, Ky. for a weekend series versus No. 19 Kentucky (30-13).
Claiming the No. 5 spot for the second-straight week is Minnesota, who went 5-0 on the week. Following a midweek doubleheader in which the Gophers collected a pair of wins over the Wisconsin Badgers, the bats remained hot as they posted 5-0, 9-1 (five innings), and 3-0 wins over Iowa. Minnesota returns to action Wednesday to face North Dakota State in a doubleheader before playing Purdue this weekend.
Rounding out the Top 10: No. 6 Oregon stayed in place after going 1-2 on the week and dropping their three-game series to No. 2 Arizona; Oklahoma (41-8) rises one spot to No. 7 following their 3-1 week including a series win over then-No. 13 Baylor (36-9); No. 8 Tennessee rises one spot after claiming another SEC series win over then-No. 16 LSU (34-14); No. 9 Washington (34-10) also moves up one spot after posting a solo win over UAB prior to back-to-back victories over then-No. 12 Alabama (37-11); No. 10 Auburn (39-8) falls three spots despite having a 3-1 showing for the week including their series win over South Carolina.
New to the poll this week is No. 22 Illinois (34-11), who bested Nebraska twice in a three-game, Big Ten Conference series on the road. Dropping out of the Top 25 is last week’s No. 25 Ohio State (28-13), who suffered a Big Ten series loss at the hands of Michigan State.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 10 USA Softball Regions as well as members of the National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
About the NCAA Women’s College World Series
USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium – OGE Energy Field serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 27th year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and compete for a national championship. Last year, over 78,000 fans attended the WCWS. Be there to Share The Experience with softball fans from across the country June 1-7 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2017 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and secure your championship experience!