LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Despite suffering a 5-1 defeat to No. 11 Louisville while splitting a doubleheader (1-5, 9-1 in 5 inn.) against the Cardinals this past weekend in Norman, Okla., No. 1 Oklahoma (28-2) maintained its hold on the top spot of the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll for a third consecutive week.

The Sooners, unanimous at No. 1 over the previous two ranking releases, still managed to garner 27 of 31 possible first-place nods in totaling 769 points.

Arizona State (31-3) picked up a single first-place vote to remain steady in the No. 2 position after winning two of three contests during its high-profile Pac-12 Conference series at then-No. 12 UCLA (2-3, 10-3, 5-4).

Florida (31-3) and Alabama (29-4) held firm at third and fourth, respectively, with the Gators receiving three votes from the committee as the top team in the nation.  UF routed USC Upstate (11-0, 5 inn.) during a mid-week match-up before sweeping a three-game Southeastern Conference series from Arkansas (8-0 in 6 inn., 5-2, 1-0), while the Crimson Tide topped Georgia State (9-1 in 5 inn.) and took two-of-three match-ups from league rival Auburn (8-0 in 6 inn., 4-7, 13-1 in 5 inn.).  No. 5 California (26-3) improved one position this week after rolling past Utah in a three-game set (6-0, 9-4, 4-1).

Tennessee (27-6) made the largest leap among the top 10 teams, jumping from eighth in last week’s poll to sixth after sweeping a tightly-contested series (8-6, 8-6, 5-4) from then-No. 5 Texas A&M (26-5) in Knoxville, Tenn.  Missouri (17-2) remained at No. 7 after taking both ends of a doubleheader from Georgia Tech in dominant fashion (8-0 in 5 inn., 16-0 in 5 inn.), while Texas (29-4) climbed one slot to eighth after topping then-No. 18 Baylor twice (4-0 in 9 inn., 5-1). The Aggies plummeted four spots to No. 9 following the aforementioned 0-3 effort versus the Lady Vols, while Oregon (25-4) secured a pair of one-run triumphs over then-No. 15 Stanford (4-3, 3-2) to remain at No. 10.

New to this week’s poll is South Alabama (27-5), making its first 2013 ranking appearance at No. 25 after taking the spot vacated by previously 22nd-rated Virginia Tech (18-6). The Hokies dropped out of the newest listing after losing both ends of an Atlantic Coast Conference doubleheader to unranked N.C. State (2-10 in 5 inn., 2-9).

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 31 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.

To view the complete USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 rankings, please click this link.

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