STARKVILLE, Miss. - While a couple of weeks remain in the high school softball season, the suspense for the final top spot in the USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 is now over. No. 1 The Woodlands (Texas) captured the Texas Class 5A state championship. With that victory, the Highlanders assured themselves of finishing on top of this year’s national rankings. The Woodlands paced an 11th straight weekly poll, which was released Wednesday by the Association.

The Highlanders finished the season with a 44-1 overall record. Coach Richard Jorgensen’s squad defeated Pearland (6-0) in the state semifinals and Northside O’Connor (7-5) in the state finals over the weekend. In the state title game, tournament MVP Paige McDuffee struck out six batters and earned the win. Faith Bohack added a home run.

The final USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 for the 2011 season will be released June 29. However, The Woodlands have secured the nod for No. 1 in the final poll by completing its state championship run.

Elsewhere in this week’s poll, second and third remain the same. No. 2 Canyon del Oro (Arizona, 34-1) won the Class 4A, Division I state championship, while No. 3 Gulliver Prep (Florida, 30-2) won the Class 3A state championship. Moving up to fourth is North Carolina Class 4A state champion Alexander Central (31-2), while No. 5 Kaukauna (Wisconsin, 24-0) remains unbeaten in regular season play.

The USA Today/NFCA Top 25 is compiled by state representatives from across the country. Records for this week’s poll include all games played through June 5, 2011.

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