LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 1 Florida suffered its first loss of the season last Monday, but rebounded with a three-game sweep of then-No. 16 Tennessee to remain the unanimous No. 1 in this week’s USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll. Following a SEC series win, Texas A&M climbs into the top 10 at No. 8, while Florida Atlantic returns to the top 25 for the first time since 2004.
Following the Gators’ (30-1) first defeat of the season to No. 3 Auburn on Monday, they started a new winning streak posting four wins to earn all 32 first-place votes and 800 points. After allowing 13 runs in its series with Auburn, Florida’s pitching staff returned to form, allowing just two runs and posting three shutouts, including two during its three-game sweep of Tennessee (5-0, 4-2, 3-0).
Making significant jumps were No. 4 Oregon and Texas A&M. The Ducks (22-4) took the first two at then-No. 8 Washington in a Pac-12 opening series in Seattle to move up from No. 7, while the Aggies (27-3) also jumped three spots. Texas A&M won its SEC-opening series against then-No. 4 LSU (6-2, 1-6, 9-5).
Michigan (21-2) and Auburn (26-4) remained at No. 2 and No. 3 as did NO. 5 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 6 Alabama and No. 9 James Madison. The Wolverines defeated Eastern Michigan (14-1), while the Tigers went 4-1 with a wins over the Gators (5-4), Samford (18-1) and Mississippi State (3-2 in 14 inn. / 2-0).
The Ragin Cajuns (22-2) went 3-1 with a nine-inning triumph (5-4) over McNeese State and a Sun Belt series win at UT Arlington (13-0, 16-0, 1-3). The Crimson Tide (26-5) picked up four wins at the Easton Tournament in Fullerton, Calif. They topped the host Titans (2-1), Grand Canyon (9-0), New Mexico (6-1) and DePaul (14-6), while falling in their finale to No. 13 Oklahoma (0-2). The Dukes (22-2) were rained out and did not play.
LSU (25-5) dropped three spots to No. 7, while Washington (19-5) fell from No. 8 to No. 10.
Florida Atlantic, under the direction of NFCA Hall of Fame coach Joan Joyce, enters the poll at No. 23- its first ranking since Week 10 of 2004. The Owls (26-5) finished 5-0 last week with three shutouts, including a 2-0 eight-inning victory at in-state rival and RV UCF.
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Records reflect games played through March 20, 2016.
2016 USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll
Week 6 | March 22, 2016 (Results through 3/20)
|Rank||Team||Points||2016 Record||Last Poll|
Dropped Out: No. 25 Oregon State
New to Poll: No. 23 Florida Atlantic
Receiving Votes: Oregon State (23), USC Upstate (21), USF (13), Tulsa (9), Ohio State (8), UCF (8), Texas (8), Mississippi State (7), BYU (5), South Alabama (3), North Dakota State (2), Mississippi (2), Utah (2), San Diego State (1).